Think EU-MED

Monday, September 6, 2010


Europeanization beyond the EU: The Dynamics of Europeanization in the Southern Mediterranean Partner States
by Moritz Schneider

Since the European Union has almost reached its natural geographical borders the process of exporting European values, laws and standards via the membership prospect is more limited. Yet, even without the incentive of a concrete membership offer, the EU has created several policy instruments towards its neighbouring countries to foster Europeanization outside the European territory as well. In the context of the Euro-Mediterranean relations, the EU enjoys bilateral and multilateral policy frameworks to spread the Union’s common values and institutions.

My paper analyses the main mechanisms for inducing Europeanization in the Southern Mediterranean region, namely the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The multilateral EMP promotes Europeanization and regional integration through a socialisation and imitation processes, while the bilateral ENP focuses on country-specific Action Plans based on conditionality rules to foster Europeanization in the neighbouring countries. The logic of differentiation of the ENP and the logic of regionalism of the EMP have however proved ineffective strategies to foster reforms or intra-regional integration. The EU’s transformative power in the neighbourhood and the adaptation of European institutions and values has been low in the Mediterranean region. The paper argues that the EU’s external policy framework towards the Southern Mediterranean states is following a dual strategy between the concepts of Realpolitik and Idealpolitik. The lack of a clear strategy undermines the efficiency of EU policies and the possibility to promote Europeanization in the region.

The new Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is intended to create a new form of institutional governance by abandoning the asymmetric power structure, enhancing co-ownership and promoting a more balanced partnership. However, the UfM is not responding to the policy shortcomings of the ENP and the EMP, but rather seems to be a compromise of bilateral and multilateral patterns of the two former approaches - the logic of differentiation and the logic of regionalism. The paper will conclude that the EU has to reconsider its strategy of the UfM or, even better, remodel its policy approach towards the Southern Mediterranean countries to improve co-operation and foster the process of Europeanization.

L'EUROPE EN FORMATION Année 2010 - été 2010 - n° 356
Dossier: Euro-Mediterranean partnership: The end of a vision?

Europeanization beyond the EU: The Dynamics of Europeanization in the Southern Mediterranean Partner States, Published: August 2010