The attention of the international community is now focused on the protection of the Libyan people, and rightly so, but it would be a grave mistake to forget Syria or neglect the bigger picture in the region.
The revolutions across the MENA region in 2011 took the world by storm. Authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have been toppled and their people have begun the long and complex process of building democratic states. But elsewhere in the Arab world unrest continues, with Syria now entrenched in conflict as the country's dictator tries to cling to power, and significant protests and crackdowns have also been witnessed in Bahrain and Yemen.
What does the future hold for the Arab world? Will Egypt, Libya and Tunisia succeed in becoming truly democratic? How much further will this ‘democratic wave’ continue to spread around the Arab world? And what should the EU do about all this?
To explore these questions, the EUISS opened an online debate on the implications of the Arab democratic wave for EU foreign policy. The debate invites academics, policymakers, think tankers and other influential voices from a variety of backgrounds including from North Africa, the Middle East and Europe to contribute to this pluralistic online debate. The EUISS has also held a series of high profile events and launched detailed publications dealing with the Arab democratic wave, all of which can be found on this page.
It seems inevitable that Saleh will leave. But how badly could things go wrong after his departure? With the US preoccupied with Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iraq and domestic concerns, there is a real need and opportunity for Europe to take the lead in this potentially complex situation.
As pro-Gaddafi troops move ever closer to Benghazi, the author argues that the international community has a responsibility to protect the civilian population.
The international community should focus its efforts on isolating and weakening the inner core of Gaddafi's regime through sanctions and international condemnation, rather than military intervention. Ultimately, the regime will only fall through an internal military or tribal coup. It would be wise to support such an outcome, not to intervene.
How can the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) be implemented in Libya without the UN Security Council? What have been the consequences of inaction of Security Council in previous cases? In this analysis, the author explores these questions in the context of the Libyan crisis and provides a legal backdrop to R2P.