International Relations, Culture and Politics
Ivano Bruno - French Foreign Policy in the Mediterranean: Europeanization between Collective and National Approaches 69
Ivano Bruno French Foreign Policy in the Mediterranean: Europeanization between Collective and National Approaches The events that shook the Arab world in early 2011 have raised profound questions about the EU and its strategy in the region. For some, the Arab Spring has proved that EU initiatives in the Mediterranean were inad- equately formulated and should be deemed a failure. Despite the criticism, the EU seems to have taken a strong stance towards Libya and Syria and has responded to the needs of Egypt and Tunisia with added financial allocations. As usual, reaching a coherent EU position has taken time and does not preclude further member states’ power struggles, negotia- tions and compromises. The question that remains unanswered however is what the EU approach towards the ‘new’ Arab partners will be and, more importantly, to what extent member states will play a role in shaping and inf luencing EU Mediterranean policy in order to ref lect their prefer- ences and interests. This chapter will argue that in line with its traditional foreign policy orientation, France has attempted to increase its regional inf luence in the Mediterranean by articulating its preferences at the supra- national level. In this context, this chapter will attempt to highlight the role and relevance of France and other actors key to the development of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and, specifically, the Union for the Mediterranean. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) initially launched by President Sarkozy is the latest addition to the EU’s Mediterranean policy framework. At...
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