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Democratic transition challenges: Egypt in a comparative perspective

28 May 2011

The EU Institute for Security Studies and the Arab Forum for Alternatives organised a conference in Cairo entitled ‘Democratic transition challenges: Egypt in comparative perspective" in collaboration with CERSS, CIDOB, CITpax, IEEI, the Portuguese Institute for Development Assistance, and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.  The seminar brought together Egyptians and experts from Spain and Portugal, alongside experts from India, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco to draw on the countries’ respective democratic transition experiences and to see how these can be of use to Egypt.  Egypt finds itself in an extraordinary moment. While it is broadly recognised that Egypt is an individual case with its own specific needs, lessons learned from other countries can be of use in identifying and discussing democratic transition challenges. It is not only Egypt, however, that has experienced a painful transition period, but other countries such as Spain and Portugal have also faced similar difficulties. The conference focused on issues such as constitutional reform, organising elections, security sector reform, building new political parties, meeting social demands and the integrations of Islamists into the political process where discussed.  But the EU also finds itself in an extraordinary moment. As an international political actor it should share its know-how and experience of democratic transition and respond to the changing economic and societal needs.