Page 1

United in Diversity?


A quarterly review on Eropean integration SE Europe & the SE Mediterrean

Q1/2009 - issue 11

The Mediterranean Wager

Editor’s note In an era of global economic crisis, when all political and economic analysts underline risks prevalent in the global sphere, The Bridge adopts an optimistic stance. This optimism derives from the tendency to build regional schemes and the inclination to form regional partnerships based on civil initiatives. This tendency has to transform to solid action involving civil society in order to promote cultural and religious dialogue as well as economic relations. Creating a platform for the exchange of ideas, which can contribute to the building of an area of freedom, safety and economic and social development in the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe, seems to be a prerequisite nowadays. This can be achieved through the creation of networks of people and not only of civil society organizations. This is the hope for our common future. At stake is the Mediterranean, a region hit by the economic recession and regional conflicts. On the one hand, fluctuations in the global order can make our region bleed once again, but on the other, the fact that the full potential of growing interest at the local and regional levels is, as of yet, unexplored supports our optimism. In this issue of The Bridge, we try to reveal the opportunities that this turbulent era is creating. European integration prospects for the Western Balkans, regional initiatives in Southeast Europe and the recently launched Union for the Mediterranean may not be able to compensate for the Georgian crisis, the economic breakdown and the war in the Middle East. However, they can promise the continuation of a process that will lead to the establishment of a solid ground: the ground of a globe where crises will be exceptions rather than the rule.



cover story The Mediterranean wager

A bimonthly review on European integration SE Europe & the SE Mediterranean

EU, Mediterranean & Israel 33 - 35 by Ambassador Ali Yahya

The bridge. is a quarterly publication of the “Agora Ideon” forum

Nicolas Sarkozy et la vision 36 - 39 by Frédéric Allemand

Project Manager: BusinessOnMedia

A mirage or a credible ‘Barcelona Plus’? 50 - 52 by Erwan Lannon

Contact: 12A Kyprou Street, Moshato, 18346 Athens, Greece tel: +30-210.482.3977 fax: +30-210.483.2447 e-mail: Publisher: Stavroula Sourila Publishing and Business Development Director: Kostas Tsaoussis Executive Consultant: Alexia Konachou Project Director: Victor Dhimas Editor in Chief: Dimitris Maziotis Editorial Consultants: Eleni Fotiou Kostis Kapopoulos

Is the challenge worth the effort? 53 - 54 by Dimitrios Triantaphyllou Euromed 2010: Evaluation and Challenges 55 - 56 by Ainara Gfimez and Julia Anglès Towards the real Euromed revival 57 - 58 by J.P. Robert Vandenbegine and Nathalie Janne d’Othée

frontlines 8 - 9

Hans-Gert Pöttering Bridges across the sea

Think-Med 59 - 60 by Eleni Fotiou De-demonising Divisions 61 - 62 by Gema Martin Munoz

cover story 32

What’s next then? 63 - 64 by Eduard Soler i Lechai The food security challenge: Mediterranean diet 65 - 67 by Sébastien Abis

Editorial Team: Constantinos Angelopoulos Ali Osman Egilmez Alexandra Fiada Antonis Kamaras Maria Katechi Natassa Mastorakou Simos Ververidis


Internet Edition Manager Vasilis Loukanidis

book reviews

Proof-reading: ICET - David Neylan

Yannis Tsantoulis Discovering its Eastern neighborhood

Benita Ferrero-Waldner Strengthening partnership with the South

78-79 cover story 30 - 31


Artwork team: Dimitris Stergiou Advertising Executive Manager: Christy Sotiriou Montage-Printing: Kathimerini SA ISSN 1791-2237

The bridge. quarterly review is distributed along with the International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Kathimerini English Edition newspapers in Greece, Cyprus and Albania free of charge, and to the subscribers of the Hurriyet Daily News. After the initial day of publication it can be purchased at news-stands. The content of the magazine does not involve the reporting or the editorial departments of the IHT.

© The bridge.. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of The bridge.. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the editorial views of the publisher of The bridge.. All information in this magazine is verified to the best of the authors’ and the publisher’s ability. However, The bridge. does not accept responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on it.


Balkans in Delphi

Interesting times: Balkans revisited 08 - 09 by Yannis Kofinis

Yasar Yakis Interview Is there any other foreign policy option?

Destabilization & normalization 14 - 19 by Ioannis Armakolas frontlines 10 - 11

Kathrin Brockmann The way ahead A German perspective

From Pristina to Tskhinvali and back 20 - 21 by Laza Kekic Where angels fear to tread? 22 - 24 by Neil Dillon The shadows of the past: Karadzic at The Hague 26 - 28 by Eleni Vossou

cover story 40 - 42

turquoise The bridge to “Hurriyet Daily News�

Roberto Aliboni Doubts and hopes

Hostage to power play 68 by Dana Moss Mustafa of Thessalonica 69 - 70 by Ariana Ferentinou 2009: A turning point in relations 71 - 72 by Mehmet Ali Birand

cover story 43 - 44

Stephen Calleya Strategies to be reassessed

Caucasus: The new battle zone 73 - 75 by Mitat Celikpala

and more...

cover story 45-47


Discovering its Eastern neighborhood The EU after the Georgian crisis The EU's policy towards the South Caucasus: From apathy to engagement? The EU's 'foreign policy' -- if this is the right term to use -- towards its emerging eastern neighborhood was trapped during the postCold War period in a membership/nonmembership dilemma. To put it bluntly, if membership was on the table, then the EU had a fully developed policy framework at its disposal, but if it was not, then the EU institutions were very reticent to advocate any policy at all. After all, they did not have a clear mandate or the wherewithal to do so. During the 1990s the South Caucasus seemed to be far away for the EU, but too close and important for Russia, as it evidently proved to be last August. In any case, it still is relatively difficult to talk of a consistent EU policy towards the region in the 1990s. There was virtually none. Given the overcrowded agenda of the European Union (EMU, Enlargement Process etc.) since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact 18 years ago, there were not any political 'guts' left to address the historical and geopolitical nuances of the region. Therefore, the EU invested in economical cooperation and technical assistance and the member states coordinated



their national foreign policies on a case-bycase basis within a framework of diverse institutional structures (e.g., OSCE, UN etc.), showing reluctance to be engaged seriously in the two vital issues of the region, i.e., conflict resolution and energy security. With regard to the issues of conflict resolution, the EU preferred to provide its support to the OSCE and the United Nations in their efforts to solve the region's conflicts. Concerning the conundrums posed by the energy security paradigm, the EU unfortunately did nothing to shape a common coherent external energy policy. This state of affairs continued throughout the 1990s and the first years of the 21st century. Actually, the first serious EU document to mention the countries of the South Caucasus was the European Security Strategy of December 2003. Following its 2004 enlargement -- that in parallel, was also the year of the NATO's enlargement -- the EU was 'forced' to a certain degree to develop a special policy to manage its relations with its eastern neighbors and to tackle these vital issues. The immediate result was the launch of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2004, but soon this proved to be insufficient. Today, the EU's policies towards the states of the region have been divided into the following main categories: The Enlargement Policy that proved to be by far the most straightforward and successful policy, based on the simple but efficient 'carrots and sticks' concept (Bulgaria and Romania until 2007 and Turkey since 2005). The European Neighbourhood Policy, that was based on the tricky trade-off,

By Yannis Tsantoulis

i.e., no membership perspective, but other advantages (“everything but institutions,” as Prodi once said, although the current ENP offers much less) and had the tacit logic of blurring the boundary between being 'in' and 'out' of the EU (Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan). The Strategic Partnership (Four Common Spaces), which has neither been strategic, nor a partnership (Russia). Overall, all of these overlapping types of policies in the region have made it rather difficult to formulate a coherent policy for the various 'types' of states/actors and to establish strong and viable links between the entities involved. Furthermore, the coherent approach of the ENP has been continuously challenged by the member states' particular interests, since some member states have focused particularly on the South (e.g., France vis-à-vis the Mediterranean) whereas others have been more interested in a policy towards the East (e.g., Germany vis-à-vis the Black Sea).

Drafting a new European strategy: ready for a breakthrough? Neglecting or ignoring the South Caucasus is not an option anymore for the EU. Let alone the fact that the EU is now a Black Sea riparian power and a regional actor, the South Caucasus is less and less seen as the periphery of the European continent and is starting to become a core component of its strategic hinterland. What needs to be done is first to draft a strategy for a way out of the Georgia crisis and then question whether there are any prospects for a long-term, viable strategy. The short-term strategy: key steps for a way out of the crisis Changing the current situation would have to entail a coherent strategy which involves a number of key characteristics, the first of which would be the putting fourth of a single voice. The idea is quite simple: “Strong if we stay united, weak if we stay divided.� A synthesis of national positions and interests is the only way forward. The EU has traditionally spoken with several voices in the past and perhaps only the 'unfreezing' of the Lisbon Treaty could pave the way forward. Adopting a 'neutral broker' position would also contribute much: If the EU wants to focus on mediating between Georgia and Russia, this requires it to remain neutral. Creating a physical presense is also of the utmost importance, and the EU has already deployed an EU Monitoring Mission which is a step in the right direction. The

major challenge, however, should not be simply to monitor the situation on the ground, but also to ensure that there will be no return to violence. Establishing direct Contact with the breakaway regions should also factor heavily into calculations. The EU should find ways to cooperate directly with Sukhumi and Tskhinvali in order to help them to overcome their isolation and one-sided dependence on Russia. The EU would also go a long way in formulating a coherent strategy by creating a contact group to deal with crisis which could devote political energy to achieving better policy coordination with all the other international organizations involved in the region, such as the UN, the Council of Europe, and OSCE. Considering the next focal point for security tensions -- although not for war -might be Ukraine and especially the Crimean peninsula, the EU needs to demonstrate a focused commitment to the country. As a signal both to Kiev and Moscow, EU member states and institutions need to be engaged in Ukraine.

The long-term strategy: Overall, there should be a formulation of a new EU regional policy towards the Black Sea. In this context, an enhanced Black Sea Synergy, with the primary objective to complement the ENP, the enlargement policy for Turkey, and the Strategic Partnership with Russia, is a good start. Also, the potential significance of a regional Stability Pact, according to the 'Balkan Model,' could be discussed in this context. In the long run, the ENP with these complementary policies seems to be the only available 'foreign policy' tool for the EU to buy time. The EU has to understand its own needs in order to formulate clear objectives and a coherent strategy towards the region. What the EU should provide is strong incentives and specific rewards. In this manner, the EU will skip enlargement and post-enlargement dilemmas and will be able to continue to push for further reforms and transformation of this fragile region without promising anything. On the other hand, the regional organizations, which currently are dealing with the EU, and in this regard specifically BSEC, need to understand that they will be just 'junior' partners of the EU and will have some complimentary role in this budding discourse. Last but not least, with regard to Russia, the EU as a widely respected international actor could use the Russian sensitivities about its own role and status (e.g., inclusion to the WTO) in the world and try to exert some influence by using its most powerful tool, its 'soft power.' Yannis Tsantoulis is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS).


Is there any other foreign policy option? Yasar Yakis Interviewed by Dimitris Maziotis and Eleni Fotiou

H.E. Yasar Yakis has served in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey since 1962 and has been both the Ambassador to Riyadh and Cairo. He has also served as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations Office in Vienna and a Senior Policy Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In August 2001, he became a founding member and the Vice Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in charge of international relations and was elected Member of Parliament both in the 2002 and in the 2007 elections. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the 58th Turkish Government (20022003) and was Member of the European Convention to draft the European Constitution. Since 2003, he has chaired the European Union Harmonization Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and he co-chairs the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee.



On the occasion of the Third International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) Annual Lecture, H.E. Yasar Yakis, Chairman of the European Union Harmonization Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the Former Minister for Foreign Affairs spoke on "The Black Sea and the Georgian Crisis". After the event, which was held in Athens on 13 November 2008, H.E. Yasar Yakis agreed to talk to The Bridge covering a wide range of issues that concern Turkey today. Since 1999, many changes have occurred in the Turkish political scene due to the EU accession process. How do you evaluate Turkey-EU relations to date? Turkey’s accession process has slowed down since the end of 2006, but today there are legitimate signs of improvement from both sides. The end of 2006 signaled a reflection period full of internal developments for both Turkey and the EU. The elections, the amendment of the constitution, the referendum, and the Constitutional Court action to dissolve the AK Party were the reasons behind that delay. Today, there are no longer excuses and I presume that as soon as the budgetary debates are over, Turkey will again push forward the process of reforms. In 2007, Turkey has issued a voluminous document, the “road map” for the coming seven years. This road map sets the priorities, not according to the EU priorities, but according to Turkey’s priorities aiming at transform-

ing Turkey by the end of 2013 to a completely acquis complied country, whether it will join the EU or not. We need these reforms and since we do it for our own purposes, we should set the priorities according to our own criteria. The second reason for acting this way is that even if we fulfil all the EU criteria, there is no guarantee of full membership. There are political parameters as well. For example, eight chapters will open only when Turkey opens its harbors to the Greek Cypriot ships. In addition, France has blocked five more chapters. When someone takes all that into consideration, he may come up with the conclusion that for Turkey there will always be constraints, despite its efforts.

During the French EU Presidency did you see any change in the EU stance? Yes, but in the positive sense. The same happened during the German and the Austrian Presidencies. These two countries acted very professionally and dissociated their national positions from their duties that derived from the EU Presidency. France did the same. It is almost becoming a tradition unfortunately to open only two chapters under each Presidency but the French Presidency made an effort to change this tradition.

The 2008 Commission’s Progress Report criticized specifically the lack of progress in three issues; Cyprus, civil-military relations and minority rights. These issues used to be taboo issues in the past and the fact that now they are open to public debate is a step forward. Under which circumstances, do you believe Turkey will fulfill the EU requirements that are relative to these specific issues? As to the Cyprus issue, there is the perception in the Turkish public opinion that Cyprus is not an element in the EU accession process. The real element is the political will. If there is no political will, even if Turkey gives away all its rights on Cyprus, it will not become member. Cyprus serves

as an excuse that major EU countries use. Before 1999, these countries were hiding behind Greece. When Greece decided to loudly support Turkey’s EU membership, we have seen other countries opposing it. The same holds for Cyprus. Greek-Cypriots are blamed for nothing in my opinion. In that sense, the Cyprus question is not an obstacle, but an excuse in Turkey’s path to membership. In any case, Turkey has to deal with the Cyprus issue independently from whether there is the prospect of membership or not. As to the civil-military relations, there are two dilemmas to be addressed, one by the military establishment and one by the EU. Throughout history, the military establishment has been the fore runner of the modernization effort. Today, this institution cannot be regarded as the only remaining obstacle in contemporary Turkey’s modernization. So, the military establishment will find a way to accommodate this change when the time comes. The other dilemma on behalf of the EU is that the Union wants to see a secular Turkey. The military is the guardian of the secular regime, so if its powers are reduced, this role is diminished. So, the EU has to find a way to accommodate the present role of the army and the “European” role of the army. We should always bear in mind that the military in Turkey is very highly appreciated and that it is not perceived the way it is in other EU countries.

Even if the importance of the military is reduced in the laws, its superiority will never be downgraded in the minds of people. As to the minority rights, there are two distinct categories: the minorities under the Lausanne Treaty and those promoted by the EU. Concerning the first category and with special reference to the Greek minority, there are two schools of thought. The committee that I chair supported the first school of thought and said that in order to come out of the impasse in which the TurkishGreek relations got stuck, we should set a good example by giving all the rights that they deserve to the Turkish citizens of ethnic Greek origin since they are our own citizens after all. We have done it and now we see that the Greek authorities are also taking steps in the same direction.

So, you perceive it as a matter of “reciprocity”? Yes. And I believe that if the atmosphere between the two countries gets warmer, we will see progress in this field. I feel that both sides are working for it. In the case of the Law on Foundations, for example the first school of thought prevailed in the


committee. Concerning the rest of the nonMuslim minorities, there are two opposing tendencies, like in all the other countries. But I believe that the majority of Turks do not want to make discriminations. As to the rights of the Kurds, in France, Corsicans enjoy lesser rights than the Kurds in Turkey. We will expand all the rights to the Kurdish-speaking people, but it is difficult to provide them with state education in their mother tongue. I will give you an example. I am coming from Duzce, a constituency with three seats in the Parliament, where 23 languages are spoken. It is not possible to open 23 different sets of schools. Turkey is unitary country and within this unitary system, communities can use their mother-tongues, they can broadcast and have courses in their mother-tongues, but the official language is one. As to their political representation, the Kurds in Turkey are overrepresented in the Parliament --130 members out of 550 -- and in the Cabinet -- four Ministers. They are also represented in the army, the academia and the judiciary.

As to the recently launched “Union for the Mediterranean”, what role can Turkey play and what value can add to the EU’s Mediterranean initiative? Turkey is the most populated country in the entire Mediterranean region and it is the 17th largest economy of the world. But most of all, Turkey combines the secular state with the Muslim society, so it can act as a bridge between the North and the South. Turkey’s role is also defined by the fact that it is a Black Sea country, a Caucasus country, a Balkan country, a Middle Eastern country and simultaneously it is



negotiating with the EU. We can not find any other country with so many titles. All of them are very important for the EU. In addition, NATO has identified fifteen hot spots in the world that may threaten stability, thirteen out of which are found around Turkey. So, of course, Turkey can play a constructive role.

Recently, Turkey’s role as a mediator in the Middle East and Erdogan’s August initiative for a “Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform” indicate a regional leadership aspiration. There have been statements that question the dedication of Turkey to the EU path. Is there any change in the Turkish foreign policy priorities and is there really any other foreign policy option? No, there is not. But at the same time, EU membership is not a substitute of Turkey’ relations with Russia, Iran and the Caucasus. On the contrary, the more Turkey has

a better position in Middle East and Caucasus, the more it will be taken seriously by the European Union. These two sets of relations are not competitive, but complementary. Certain facts derive from geography, which gives Turkey the role of a transit country. Turkey makes an effort to take advantage of its geographical position for the benefit of all actors and contribute, for example, to the diversification of energy routes to Europe. Turkey regards the EU as a Union of values, not religions and Turkey wishes to contribute to the process of the formation of a universal value system. As long as this prospect exists, we cannot say that the EU is not a priority for Turkey.

How would you describe Turkey today at the international level, taking into consideration the financial crisis and at the regional level, taken the developments in Georgia, the Balkans and Middle East? You also touch upon the question of how valuable is Turkey for the international community. As to the financial crisis, we were luckier because of the fact that during the banking crisis in 2001, we have upgraded our banking system and because of the social structures of the Turkish economy, which include the support of the extended family and the community or village. In the Chinese alphabet, the word crisis is written with two ideograms. The first means “Risks” and the second “Opportunities”. Every crisis bears a risk and an opportunity. It is up to the Turkish leaders to transform this risk into an opportunity.

The return of the Balkans Are we entering a new critical phase in Southeast Europe after the declaration of Kosovo’s independence? How has the war in Georgia impacted Southeast Europe? How should we interpret the recent developments in the region? Does the news coming from the region allow for optimism? Or are we entering a new phase of regional instability? At this critical juncture for the region’s future, the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM), and more specifically its Southeast Europe Programme, organized a conference in Delphi, Greece, bringing together several internationally renowned experts. The title of the conference, “The return of the Balkans? Threats and challenges in the contemporary Southeast Europe. Devising institutional responses for a peaceful and prosperous future,” is indicative of the timeliness and policy relevance of the event. Speakers at EKEM’s Delphi conference offered their expert opinions on several key issues that trouble contemporary Southeast Europe. These included issues like the security situation in the region and the status of different threats; the effects of the Kosovo declaration of independence and the war in Georgia on regional stability; the process of EU accession in the Western Balkans; energy interdependence and security; economic performance and development prospects; the lessons drawn from internationally sponsored state building in Bosnia and Kosovo; and many others.


Interesting times: It is gradually becoming evident that the world is rapidly changing. The profound shifts and turns taking place are most likely forming a new, unpredictable universal reality. Besides, who could have foreseen, even at the onset of this year, the recent conflict in the Caucasus, or the collapse of the financial giants of the United States of America and the financial storm that has afflicted economic activity across the entire planet? The international chessboard is becoming increasingly complex, as the number of participating players grows and the cards of international balances are reshuffled. New powers are emerging and US monocracy is being seriously challenged nowadays, on both the political and financial levels. Meanwhile, a brand-new set of problems is being added to the global political agenda, outlining an even more complex in-

ternational scene. The guarantee of alternative sources of energy and the management of existing ones, environmental and climatic change, and migration and its consequences know no boundaries and never cease to demand solutions. Consequently, “irrefutable” stereotypes and “self-evident” theories are collapsing as long-established ideas are being hastily reviewed. Our era demands new vision and new, fresh ideas. New ideas have always been the driving force of history, whenever -- as is the case today -- dead-ends had to be overcome and structures reformed. In this changing and demanding international environment, Southeast Europe is summoned to face new threats and respond effec-

By Yannis Kofinis

tively to the new opportunities that lie ahead. Even though the Balkans, once called the “powder-keg” of Europe, have lately entered a course of stability and consolidation of democratic institutions -- mainly as a result of their approach towards European and EuroAtlantic institutions -- there is much left to be done to ensure a future of cooperation, security, and prosperity for the people of our region. Especially within the context of the ongoing world economic crisis, that has severely hindered growth in the region and threatens to undermine recent successes. Acknowledging precisely the particular importance of these developments -- both for Greece, which has significantly invested in

ddeessttabi lizattiioonn Is Southeast Europe on the verge of a new destabilization? Are we facing a return to the turbulent Balkans of the 1990s? Or are the recent crises the final political convulsions before an eventual normalization of the region? This article will briefly outline some key features in contemporary Southeast Europe, pointing to different trends -destabilizing or normalizing. In recent years a consensus emerged in the international community, and especially the West, with regards to the objectives that must be pursued in the region. The key ob-



By Ioannis Armakolas

jectives are none other than the full stabilization of the region, the building of fully functional and self-sufficient states, their inclusion in the Western institutions -- primarily the European Union and NATO -- and the eventual withdrawal of the military and politico-administrative presence of the Western states from the region. The end of the road must be a Southeast Europe without peacekeeping forces and international administrators, but at the same time one fully integrated with the Western institutions. Regarding the strategy and tactical moves for achieving these goals, there isn’t always consensus. This could be clearly seen, for example, when several EU coun-

tries did not at first recognize Kosovo’s independence; or also in the differences of opinion between the US and several key European states with regards to the future of the international community’s involvement in Bosnia. But in the end, what matters is that the general objectives and vision for the future are common. And it matters yet more because it seems that this vision is also shared by the Southeast European societies themselves; not to mention the lack of political alternatives to the European future of these states: The successful reactivation of Russia in the international arena means very


Balkans revisited time, diplomatic activity and money in the effort to transform the area into a “European neighborhood,” as well as for Europe as a whole of Europe -- the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM) has established a “South East Europe Program.” Following a two-year agreement with the Scientific Centre for Analysis and Planning of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (∂∫∞™), the program aims to assess the risks and opportunities in the area and offering, realistic policy recommendations. In this regard, we also undertook the initiative of organizing an international conference in Delphi last September, entitled “The Return of the Balkans? Threats and Challenges


in contemporary South East Europe. Devising institutional responses for a peaceful and prosperous future.” The conference, which was made possible due to the kind support of ∂∫∞™ and NATO, provided a first-class opportunity to prominent academics and analysts from Greece, Europe, and the United States -although before the outburst of the economic crisis -- to discuss the dynamics of regional political developments after the unilateral proclamation of the independence of Kosovo and through the prism of the recent conflict in Georgia. The institutional answers and policies of the EU and NATO in the area were also analyzed, as were issues of regional collaboration, energy, economic interdependence and growth, and the lessons that the Southeast

European experience may offer to other areas in turmoil. Undoubtedly, to borrow from the infamous ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times,” we do live in interesting times, both for the Balkans as well as the entire world. Let us make sure that this proverb loses its original meaning, by effectively responding to the challenges of our times and by creating the preconditions for a common future of global peace and prosperity. Yannis Kofinis is President and Executive Director of the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM) in Athens.

normalization different things in Southeast Europe compared to, say, Russia’s near abroad. Moscow’s projected new influence and appeal in places like the Balkans is not irreconcilable with the latter’s incorporation into Western institutions, especially the EU. In that context, the significant progress of the entire Western Balkans on the European accession path has been a key development in recent months. This year saw the signing of Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAA) by the final two regional EU aspirants: Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. The latter can, according to EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, expect to receive candidate status already in 2009, while for the former difficult negotiations for

a constitutional reform lie ahead. Commissioner Rehn predicted quite optimistically that 2009 would be the year of the Western Balkans. But is such optimism justified? In recent years a number of regional hotspots of potential instability have lost their steam and can now be considered as far less problematic areas than before. The termination of the union between Serbia and Montenegro occurred without problems, while the Serbian community and the pro-Serb Montenegrins in the country are

gradually, though not without problems, building a new consensus with the Montenegrin majority. Sandzak Bosnjaks have been incorporated in mainstream Serbian politics and the autonomists have lost their prominent role. Autonomist forces in Istria in Croatia and Vojvodina in Serbia continue to pursue their objectives solely through


non-military means. And there are finally hopes that a solution will be reached between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece on the ‘name issue.’ There are issues, though, which still cause concern. Kosovo remains the main hotspot of potential troubles for the region. It is not only the status puzzle, which will be discussed more below. It is also the related problem of the international presence and the transfer of responsibility from the UN to the EU mission (see Neil Dillon’s article also in this issue). Moreover, the security condition in the province remains volatile, especially for minorities. Finally, the problem of the Serb enclaves, and especially those north of the River Ibar, remains the most explosive issue in the region. Even if the new Serbian government is not willing to support extremist moves, the existing de facto division can be altered only through laborious efforts. The second potential hotspot is the various Albanian minorities in the post-Yugoslav states neighboring Kosovo: in the Presevo Valley in Southern Serbia, in Montenegro, and in FYROM. Needless to say, not all of these cases are of equal importance, nor do they necessarily present comparable security concerns. For example, the Albanian communities in Southern Serbia and Montenegro are miniscule compared to that of FYROM. And only in FYROM and Southern Serbia have local Albanian insurgencies been organized. Moreover, intensive efforts to improve inter-ethnic relations and the general political and social situation have been made in the post-insurgency years, not without



some success. But the presence of Albanian populations with strong political, economic, social, and even family links in four different states can potentially become a serious regional problem in the case of instability and turmoil in Kosovo. The situation in the latter will determine to a significant extent the trends in the neighboring areas. Last but not least, there is the continuing political crisis in Bosnia, which was reaffirmed in the recent local elections. Despite the enormous international political capital invested and financial resources poured into the country, Bosnia remains, 13 years after the end of the civil war, in a state of political turmoil. The inter-ethnic relations remain at a low point and the necessary disposition for reconciliation is missing both on the part of political elites and the population at large. In fact, inter-ethnic political quarrelling has intensified in the last couple of years, bringing disappointment to local and international

observers alike. It is clear that the same trend will continue in the coming months, especially due to the opening of a new chapter of constitutional reforms negotiations and the forthcoming inception phase for the country’s census; both of these are needed for Bosnia’s progress in the EU accession process but are hotly contested by different political forces. Going back to the positive signs, we need to focus on Serbia, whose role in the regional politico-security environment is axial both for political and geographical reasons. It is no coincidence that in the turbulent 1990s Serbia was an uncontrolled factor in the region and the main opponent of the new post-Yugoslav status quo, with terrible consequences. It is thus of great importance that Serbia is not marginalized again and is on board any visions for the future that foresees the incorporation of the entire peninsula into Western institutions. In that context, it is of great significance that several of the key positive develop-

ments that have occurred in the region lately involved Serbia in one way or another. Two successive elections in the country this year (presidential in February and general in May) brought about significant changes to the political scene, upgrading the pro-Western Democratic Party (DS) to the dominant position and significantly reducing the power of the nationalists. Boris Tadic was reelected president in February, while his party scored a convincing victory in the May elections as well. The Socialist Party (SPS) of the late leader Slobodan Milosevic became the new coalition partner to the DS. Although such a coalition would once seem uneasy, in the current situation it meant that the radicals and the -- former coalition partners -- moderate nationalists of Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) would be kept out of power. This in turn ensured the country’s pro-Western orientation and moderate response to the Kosovo developments. The DS-led government vowed to continue the efforts to reverse the effects of Kosovo’s declaration of independence and maintain legal sovereignty over the disputed territory, but only by using political and diplomatic means and without making Serbia’s European accession conditional to these objectives. Vojislav Kostunica had earlier explicitly made the link between further steps towards accession and the reversal of the Kosovo recognitions, thus putting Serbia into an impossible position. At the same time, the ‘diplomacy only’ approach probably for the first time seemed meaningful. Similar claims had understandably been seen before as lukewarm, because it was el-

ements within the Serbian political system that seemed to support the most radicals among the Serbian political factors in Kosovo. When Serbia recently won its first diplomatic victory with the referral of the Kosovo issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as we will see below, ‘diplomacy only’ appeared to bear fruits. The good news from Serbia persisted also with the arrest and transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of the key political culprit in the Bosnian bloodbath, Radovan Karadzic (see also Eleni Vossou’s article in this issue). The symbolic value of the arrest for both Serbia and the prospects of reconciliation in the region cannot be underestimated; it only remains to be seen whether this courageous move will be followed by the arrest of General Mladic. Turning to the issue of Kosovo, on Oct. 8 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution in support of the Serbian move to seek an ICJ ruling on the issue of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. What is the meaning of the UN vote, and to what extent can it affect the developments on the Kosovo question? It is undoubtedly a diplomatic victory for Belgrade, which has been in retreat on the Kosovo issue since 1999. It is also a moral victory for Serbia, which proved that its own fears and concerns coincide with those of the majority of the UN members. The question is of course to what extent this victory can bear a real political impact on the Kosovo question. And this is where

the good news probably ends for Serbia. Politically and practically, the UN vote means primarily two things. Firstly, it makes even clearer what is already known, that for the majority of the UN states with no special stakes, interest, or involvement in Southeast European affairs, the Kosovo issue is seen as a dangerous precedent for international politics, one that can potentially cause future trouble and instability in other areas. For these states that have not been involved in diplomatic and military solutions in the area, do not share borders with this European corner, and do not have trade relations or other economic interests, all that matters is the impact on the global international scene. Even though the referral to the ICJ does not necessarily mean much in practice, these states wanted to show that they disapproved of the way that the US and European states tried to solve their Balkan riddle, i.e. by unilaterally creating a precedent that potentially changes the way that international politics are conducted. Secondly, ICJ involvement may mean a further delay in the finalization of the new status quo. The international life of the new state (recognitions, membership in organizations, etc.) will probably be blocked for some time; and for good reason, since the ICJ ruling -- non-


binding but undeniably carrying political weight -- will be pending. But such delay will hardly be translated into a return to the status quo ante. It is virtually unimaginable, whatever the ICJ ruling and the delay that will be brought with it, that the 50 states that have recognized the new state will ever decide to return to the complex and dead-end situation they had found themselves in during the 19992008 period. The recognitions of Kosovo came because of two fundamentals: a), the majority of the population in Kosovo would never have accepted a return to Belgrade rule, and b), the Western states had to find an exit path from their Balkan ground commitments (military and political/administrative). The status quo ante, and the instability that it would produce, would not alter those fundamentals. Quite the opposite: Albanians would still reject -- even violently - the Serbian state, and at the same time, the international community would have to return to the country and maintain military and administrative presence for an indefinite number of years. And after all, it is implausible that the US and the Western Europeans would ever concede that their strategy was wrong. Clearly there is no going back after the decision to grant recognition was made. There was no clearer way for the American diplomacy to signal this than by achieving the recognition of Kosovo by three more key states in the aftermath of Serbia’s UN victory. Portugal became the 22nd EU member state to recognize the independ-



ence of Kosovo; and Montenegro and FYROM became the third and fourth postYugoslav states to do the same. There are now only five EU member states that have not recognized the province: Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain. And from the post-Yugoslav states remain only Bosnia. Several of these states, including Bosnia, expected to be among the last to do so, will justifiably stay away from recognition for long. But the vast majority of the EU, NATO, and Balkan states that have recognized Kosovo have created a momentum that cannot plausibly be overcome. All in all, the Kosovo situation is perhaps becoming more complicated and cumbersome. But Serbia’s UN victory cannot possibly change the heart of the matter: the fact that the bloc that Serbia wishes to join, and to which it believes it naturally belongs, has made a painful but irreversible decision to grant Kosovo independence. This brings us, finally, to the hotly contested question of the effects of the Georgian crisis on the Balkan developments and the Kosovo question in particular. The extent to which parallels between the two cases can be drawn is a complicated matter which cannot be analyzed here (see the article by Laza Kekic in this issue). The Georgian crisis, however, clearly demonstrated that the Kosovo question can be used as a precedent or a justification for supporting and recognizing breakaway republics in other parts of the world. Whether this will have wider detrimental effects on international politics and global stability remains to be seen, but the set is definitely there. The question, of course, is what the effect of the Georgian crisis was on the Balkans specifically. In the latter in particular, it can be argued that the effects will be less destabilizing. The clear orientation of all the states in the region, the prospects of EU accession, and the general improvement of the security situation are clearly factors

deescalating the tensions. At the same time, the Russian policy in the crisis arguably reduced Moscow’s moral weight in Southeast Europe and further weakened the Serbian position. By recognizing the Georgian breakaway provinces, Russia forfeited its earlier principled position of supporting international legality and the Serbian cause. Consequently, Serbia’s position was also politically weakened, since Russia was the only great power active in the region that stood by Belgrade. In conclusion, Southeast Europe has evidently not yet achieved the level of political stability and security necessary for full normalization and accession to the EU. But fears that we are on the verge of a 1990s-like turmoil which would prompt the international community to reposition the region at the top of its agenda are probably exaggerated. Significant progress has been made in the region and the remaining open issues neither involve violence nor are unsolvable. With carefully planned moves, creative and energetic diplomacy, negotiations, and notunilateral solutions, Southeast Europe can soon move much closer to normalization and EU accession.

The conference at Delphi EKEM’s Delphi conference was divided into four thematic panels. The first panel, entitled “Political dynamics after the Kosovo declaration of independence,” was presided over by EKEM President and Executive Director Mr. Yannis Kofinis. The speakers on the panel were Mr. Janusz Bugajski, Director of the New European Democracies Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., Mr. Laza Kekic, Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe & Director of Country Forecasting Services of the Economist Intelligence Unit, Mr. Eric Gordy, Senior Lecturer at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies of the University College London, and Mr. Isa Blumi, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the Georgia State University. Mr. Dimitris Keridis, Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Macedonia, was the discussant of the panel . The second panel, entitled “Institutional responses: EU, NATO and Southeast Europe,” was presided over by Mr. Thanos Veremis, Professor of Political History at the University of Athens. The panel speakers were Mr. Michael Emerson, Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, Mr. Othon Anastasakis, Director of the South East European Studies at Oxford University, and Mr. Neil Dillon, Project Officer at the Madariaga College of Europe Foundation in Brussels. Ms. Despina Afentouli, officer for Greece at NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, was the discussant of the panel . The third panel, entitled “Regional cooperation, economic interdependence, and development,” was presided over by Mr. Asteris Houliaras, Associate Professor at the Harokopion University in Athens. The speak-

ers were Ms. Lidija Topic, former Bosnian Ambassador at the EU, Ms. Susanne Nies, Director of the Brussels office of the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, Mr. Franck Debie, General Director of the Fondation pour l’Innovation Politique & President of the Centre for Geostrategic Studies of the Ecole Normale Superieure, and Ms. Orsalia Kalantzopoulos, Director for Central Europe and the Baltic countries at the World Bank. Mr. Charalambos Tsardanidis, Director of the Institute for International Economic Relations in Athens, was the discussant of the panel. Finally, the fourth panel, under the title “Post-conflict policy dilemmas and international intervention: Southeast Europe and be-

yond,” was presided over by Mr. Ioannis Armakolas, EKEM’s Research Fellow & Manager of its South East Europe Programme. The panel speakers were Mr. Richard Caplan, Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford, Mr. George Gavrilis, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin & Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and Mr. Fabrice Pothier, Director of Carnegie Europe in Brussels. Professor Thanos Veremis was the discussant of the panel. Ioannis Armakolas (PhD, Cantab) is Research Fellow at the Hellenic Centre for European Studies & Manager of its South East Europe Programme.


From Pristina to Tskhinvali and back By Laza Kekic

The conflict between Russia and Georgia in August was sparked in part by the earlier developments in Kosovo and could now have repercussions back in the Balkans. The pieces in the Eastern European jigsaw have been disturbed; how they might further be rearranged is highly uncertain. Kosovo fans the crisis in Georgia The recognition by most Western states of the independence of Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo earlier in 2008 had a destabilizing impact. It humiliated and infuriated Russia and set it on the road for revenge. It also greatly emboldened and encouraged the South Ossetians and Abkhaz to demand the same for themselves, which in turn alarmed Georgia, contributing to the spiral of ever-rising tensions which culminated in the August conflict. The conflict has now resulted in Russia's recognition of the independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a major development in a process that was unleashed by the recognition of Kosovo. That was the first time since the breakup of the Yugoslav



and Soviet federations that borders had been changed in the sense that some states were prepared to recognize the independence of a sub-republican unit. This has now also occurred in Georgia, although the number of states that will eventually recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia will be well below even the 46 states that have thus far recognized Kosovo. The Kosovo precedent The conflict in Georgia and its results have lent credibility to the warning that independence for Kosovo would set a dangerous precedent. It has exposed the emptiness of the claim that Kosovo was a sui generis case. The strong insistence by the US and the EU that the breakup of Georgia contravenes international law (unlike the Kosovo case) merely underlines the glaring double standards on display. Principles which were trampled on in the case of Serbia and Kosovo have suddenly become sacrosanct in the case of Georgia. The legal justification for recognizing Kosovar independence was extremely weak, and there was never even much of an effort to provide a justification. Similarly, there has hardly been an attempt to give any reasoned explanation for the insistence, simply repeated as a mantra, that Serbia and Georgia are separate and noncomparable cases.

There are many close parallels between the Caucasian case and Kosovo. Both were ethnically diverse, but the majority population wanted nothing do with the state to which it belonged. There was conflict, population displacement, and mutual "ethnic cleansing" in both cases. For a long period, the sovereign states no longer had de facto control over their breakaway territories (this was even longer in the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia than in post-1999 Kosovo). Conflict and territorial disputes had a long history in both cases, but came to the fore with the breakup of former communist federations. In neither case did the regions enjoy the constitutional right to self-determination or secession, which was reserved for republics in the former federations. And there were probably more genuine preceding negotiations in the Caucasus than over Kosovo, where the latest round of status negotiations ahead of the unilateral declaration of independence were rendered completely meaningless by the promise made to the ethnic Albanians that independence would be the certain outcome. Recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia

marked a turnaround for Russia. In February 2008, as the West prepared to recognize Kosovo's independence, then-President Vladimir Putin said Russians wouldn't "ape" the West and do the same for Georgia's breakaway republics. Russian arguments that the Georgian attempt to forcibly reintegrate South Ossetia mean that Georgia forfeited its moral and political rights to the breakaway territories mirror Western arguments on Serbia and Kosovo. Russia will probably continue supporting the Serbian position on Kosovo by adopting a mirror image of the Western stance on Serbia -- i.e. it will claim that Georgia is sui generis. But the moral and legal strength of this support by Russia for Serbia has now clearly been undermined. Further erosion of the UN order The breakup of Georgia may now merely confirm that which has been rather obvious for almost a decade: The UN and postwar international order to which Russia, until now, also appeared strongly attached, was in any case on its deathbed. The past few years have seen an increasing number of instances in which the UN has simply been ignored or bypassed on crucial international security decisions, including on its most fundamental principle -- respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its member states. Nevertheless, the UN will stagger on as an ineffectual and decreasingly credible in-

stitution. The key to Serbia's Kosovo strategy has been to seek the opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of Kosovo's independence. On Aug. 15 Serbia submitted a draft resolution that calls on the General Assembly to seek the ICJ's advisory opinion on "the legality of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo." Many developing countries will have been alarmed by the latest developments in the Caucasus and apparent international free-for-all in which any secessionists with powerful outside backers can achieve independence, and were thus even more inclined to support Serbia's petition at the General Assembly, which was successful. The ICJ may take several years to reach a decision, which although not legally binding may have some moral and political weight. In the meantime, Kosovo's membership in various international organizations might be more difficult to achieve. This could also slow down the process of international recognitions. Conclusion An important implication of recent developments is that the process of the dissolution of the former communist federations of the USSR and Yugoslavia is still not at an end. One possible regional implication is

that the periodic threat by the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, to secede will have even greater credibility than before. Finally, the law of the jungle in international affairs also implies that anyone can be partitioned, including Kosovo and the rest of Serbia itself. For the first time in almost 20 years, a decision made in Moscow could have significant and far-reaching consequences for developments in the Balkans. Russia has delivered a stinging rebuke to Western states and an assertion of Russian power, but, as in the case of Kosovo's secession, there could yet be unpredictable consequences across Eastern Europe, not least in the Balkans. Laza Kekic is Regional Director for Central & Eastern Europe and Director of Country Forecasting Services, Economist Intelligence Unit.


Where angels fear to tread? By Neil Dillon

The European Union’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo is the largest civilian crisis management mission it has ever planned. But the unique political situation created by Kosovo’s declaration of independence demands more than just numbers. The EU must show political strength in the face of opposition, an unprecedented clarity of purpose on the ground, and a motor for reform that runs independently of the integration prospect. Kosovo’s future is a European one. At least that’s the plan. But for the plan to work, two conditions will have to be fulfilled. Firstly, Kosovo itself will need to build strong institutions of governance. Secondly, the EU member states will have to agree that Kosovo is eligible for the Stabilisation and Association Process. But after 20 years of ethnic-Albanian exclusion from the governance process, followed by the political division that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence on Feb. 17 brought about, both of these goals look like long-term targets at best. As a first step, the EU is aiming to deploy its largest-ever civilian crisis management mission in Kosovo by the end of December. EULEX KOSOVO is intended to support Kosovo’s authorities in the area of rule of law by monitoring, mentoring, and advising Kosovo’s own police, customs, and judiciary. Success in this mission is an essential step on Kosovo’s path towards stability and thus, perhaps, integration within the union itself. Make no mistake -- EULEX is entering very challenging terrain. It faces resent-



ment among the ethnic-Serbian population in northern Kosovo, not to mention Belgrade. It has to overcome a lack of clarity regarding the legitimacy of its operation and the details of its interaction with the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). And then it needs to build credible rule-of-law institutions within Kosovo without undermining its fragile sovereignty -- a challenge that has proved extremely difficult in nearby Bosnia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Little wonder, then, that political will among the EU member states is less visibly behind EULEX now than it was a year ago. So what are the prospects for success? Clearly, lessons must be learned from the previous EU missions to FYROM and Bosnia and Herzegovina. But more than this, the past failings will have to be overcome in a new atmosphere of political ambiguity. Unless EU planners take heed of prob-

lems both past and present, EULEX’s chances of success in Kosovo will be very slim indeed. Challenge number one is deployment. Slow recruitment plagued the first EU police mission in FYROM, and also presented difficulties in the counterpart missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For so long as the EU is without a credible standby pool of civilian crisis management personnel, recruitment will always be difficult. But EULEX Kosovo faces this problem particularly acutely, because many potential contributor states are uncomfortable with the EU’s role in an independent Kosovo. Without a more concerted drive among

COSMOTE Group Dynamically approaching the 20 million customers milestone, COSMOTE Group exceeded 18.65 million at the end of September 2008. During the 3rd quarter of 2008, COSMOTE posted significant growth in all markets of operations, with its revenues rising to 876.2 million euro (+6,2%) and its EBITDA at 331.8 million euro.

AMC During the third quarter of 2008, AMC, COSMOTE’s Albanian subsidiary pursued its positive and steadily improving performance, adding about 36 thousand new subscribers, a 15.9% increase y-o-y, bringing its total customer base to approximately 1.32 million. The company sustained its leading position with an estimated 52% market share, despite the entry of a third mobile player and the increasing competition. Among the highest in Europe, AMC’s Q3 EBITDA margin skyrocketed to 67.4%. The company’s revenues reached 53.4 million, posting a 10% y-o-y increase. COSMOTE’s oldest subsidiary is a pioneer in providing advanced products and services, as well as attractive tariff plans and offers, responding to the consumer needs. AMC continues to enhance its network’s coverage and capacity, aiming to address the needs of its growing customer base and achieve increased usage. Currently, the company’s network provides over 98.91% population and 86.24% geographical coverage.


AMC, striving for continuous growth on all levels, meets the increasing demands of the Albanian market, as well as international standards, with its targeted commercial policy. Furthermore, the company, demonstrating active social involvement, has developed a comprehensive CSR programme and implements various social and environmental initiatives, addressing the acknowledged needs of the Albanian society and people.

the “friendly” states, both within Europe and beyond, EULEX cannot realistically be expected to get off the ground by the end of 2008. Coordination between EULEX and the other EU bodies in Kosovo is also a key challenge, as in past missions. In Macedonia, lack of coordination between the European Commission’s Delegation and the European Council’s missions led to the decision in November 2005 to “doublehat” the positions of commission delegation chief and the council’s special representative. This facilitated coordination between the two institutions’ activities on the ground. But this decision has not been replicated in Kosovo. On the plus side, EU Special Representative Peter Feith has responsibility for facilitating coordination between the Commission Liaison Office and EULEX. His burden will be made heavier by the particularities of Kosovo’s situation. Diplomatic intransigence in the international community has meant that the EU and UN missions in Kosovo will overlap rather than work in sequence as intended. This means that Feith will have to juggle international liaison responsibilities with the internal coordination of EULEX and the European Commission’s presence. Much will depend upon his ability to do this successfully. But Bosnia also provides a broader lesson for EULEX. Just as in Kosovo today, the first EU police mission in Bosnia began with an emphasis on the principle of local ownership. But this policy was not determined by facts on the ground so much as a desire to distance the EU presence from the UN era in the minds of Bosnian officials



and people. In the end, the hands-off approach proved too ambitious and was replaced with a more robust mandate in January 2006. In Kosovo the temptation to use local ownership as a public relations tool will be particularly strongly felt. UNMIK was widely resented, as witnessed by the success of the protest group Vetevendosje!, or “Self Determination!,” which is opposed to international administration and the devolution of powers from Pristina that the EU is overseeing. But the temptation to use local ownership in this way should be resisted. EULEX should focus its executive powers where they are needed, within the judiciary at present, and emphasize local ownership where Kosovo’s institutions can handle it; within the police force, for example. EULEX’s mandate, unlike in Bosnia, allows for flexibility with regard to the use of executive powers across the various rule-of-law institutions. This flexibility must be used to maximum operational, rather than political, effect. Finally, EULEX will need to be clear and relatively modest about its ambitions in Kosovo. Traditionally, EU crisis management missions in the Western Balkans have pushed for reforms by using the promise of future integration. But the confusion brought about by Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence makes this promise less tangible for the moment.

That is not to say that it shouldn’t be used, but it is to say that more modest goals of stabilization will have to be achieved beforehand, even if Kosovo’s own authorities become cynical about the timescale for EU integration. EULEX is embarking on a mission not dissimilar to others before it, but it is doing so in a uniquely challenging political climate. Officials should therefore be careful not to bite off more than they can chew. If the fight against organized crime and corruption yields tangible results, and the judiciary reforms bring an improvement from the UNMIK era, then EULEX Kosovo will have been a success. Neil Dillon is Project Officer at the Madariaga College of Europe Foundation.

GLOBUL GLOBUL’s Q3-08 performance demonstrates ongoing growth. COSMOTE’s Bulgarian subsidiary exceeded 4 million customers, further enhancing its postpaid-prepaid mix that currently stands at 48%-52%. During the third quarter, the company added about 105 thousand new contract subscribers, sustaining a market share of approximately 39% despite the growing competition. In the same period, GLOBUL delivered 10.7% revenue growth, maintaining its share in the highly competitive Bulgarian market, while its service revenues increased by 8.4%, driven mostly by contract outgoing revenues (up by 12.9%). Focusing on a customer centric policy, the company has developed a wide range of end-to-end, high quality mobile services, available through a retail network of over 800 stores, the most extensive in the country. GLOBUL deploys an integrated 3G portfolio as well as attractive fixed-mobile solutions. In 2008, the company introduced Frog postpaid brand.


Its network currently offers 99.95% population and 98.68% geographical coverage.

The shadows of the past: Karadzic at The Hague By Eleni Vossou

Radovan Karadzic’s appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague sparked a number of debates and dilemmas about procedural issues, with far-reaching implications. This article will briefly review some of these debates and dilemmas. Much criticism has been raised by the fact that The Hague prosecutors (OTP) have been caught unprepared to proceed to the indictment of Karadzic after his arrest. Facing a lack of resources and a large number of trials taking place concurrently, it took the OTP two months to prepare the new version of an indictment which had originally been issued 12 years before. The long wait might confirm, for some, the ICTY’s reputation of being a mammoth institution; and given the fact that Karadzic and Mladic were for a long time the top priorities of the prosecution, one wonders what could be worse than failing to catch up with such a key trial. A lesson learned through Milosevic’s case is that lengthy trials are inefficient, because the overload of evidence can distract the attention of the public from the crimes committed; it can also potentially allow the accused to emerge as a hero. In the past, long periods of pre-trial detention and particularly long trials have had a negative impact on the tribunal’s legitimacy; that is because such failings were considered as impinging on the rights of the accused. Therefore, and with the pressure causes by the expiring mandate of the tribunal, the prosecution deemed it necessary to streamline and reduce the charges, and thereby accelerate ruling. This is not exactly a quality-versus-quantity decision. Many experts will argue that the ICTY still needs to prove its efficiency if it is to be granted a (necessary) extension of its mandate.



COSMOTE ROMANIA COSMOTE Romania is for yet another quarter Group’s front runner in subscriber net adds, contributing about 604 thousand additions (vs. COSMOTE’s 490 thousand new subscribers in Greece), leveraging its dynamics as the fastest growing mobile operator in Romania. In Q3 (for the second consecutive year), COSMOTE’s Romanian subsidiary posted positive EBITDA and increased its revenues by 108.4% to 86.6 million euro. During the same period, its customer base reached 5.3 million, of which 18% postpaid. COSMOTE’s estimated market share currently stands at 21%. On December 6th, the company celebrated its 3-year anniversary. Its third year of operations was marked by continued investment in the country, new commercial initiatives and offers as well as better capitalization of Group synergies which the introduction of cutting edge products to the market. Aiming to make mobile telephony accessible to all, COSMOTE has heavily invested in network expansion and optimisation, now offering over 98% population & 87% geographical coverage, the most extensive in Romania. The company has also developed a wide retail network with 880 stores across the country. Group synergies offered Romanian consumers new, innovative products, tailored-made to cover all telecommunication needs. COSMOTE and Romtelecom introduced two highly successful bundle products for both residential users and business clients. COSMOTE’s key 2008 commercial milestones include the re-launch of the postpaid portfolio under the COSMOTE Full Option concept and the introduction of unique pre-paid bundles, offering the lowest rates available in the market.


GERMANOS’ contribution in all countries (excluding Albania) remains of capital importance in terms of customer additions, which, during the 3rd quarter of 2008, rose to 811 thousand (68% of COSMOTE Group’s total net adds).

Looking at the big picture, too, ICTY efficacy will convince of the need to prosecute crimes in similar conflicts in the future, hence contributing to more effective human rights protection. However, expediting the procedures of Karadzic’s trial translates into excluding some crimes altogether and limiting the number of witnesses to testify. Some fear that dropping certain charges will result in the historical oblivion of certain crimes. If the amendments proposed by the prosecution are adopted by the judges, Karadzic will be charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and two separate counts of genocide -- one for the atrocities in Srebrenica in 1995, and one for crimes committed across 10 municipalities of Bosnia in 1992 and 1993. Compared with the original indictment, Karadzic’s genocide liability was dropped in eight municipalities and the count of genocide in Srebrenica covers now the period between July and November 1995, instead of the initial March-November period. But altogether, the revised indictment amounts to an extension of the indictment: from one focusing largely on Srebrenica to one reflecting a widespread and systematic practice of genocide. Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats welcomed the changes, since, in their opinion, genocide took place throughout the country. Yet Bosnian Serbs question the amendments, pointing to the fact that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in 2007 that genocide was limited to the events surrounding the fall of Srebrenica. In that, Bosnian Serb leaders see an attempt to cater to the political stance of Bosniak hardliners in their effort to revisit the Dayton Agreement and abolish Republika Srpska. In his third appearance before the tribunal, Karadzic claimed that a deal was offered to him by Richard Holbrook, the American negotiator at Dayton; Karadzic claimed that Holbrook with the full backing of the United Nations Security Council and that the deal guaranteed Karadzic immunity from prosecution on the condition that he would withdraw from politics and public life. Most legal circles agree that even if immunity was agreed, this could not possibly interfere with the legal

workings of an independent international tribunal. J. Nice, the chief prosecutor in the Milosevic case, however, argues that the tribunal should investigate Karadzic’s claims if only for history’s sake and for making sure that the tribunal does not lose its credibility. Do these procedural dilemmas facing the ICTY ahead of the trial of one of the most important war criminals in Europe have further political implications? It should be clear that the first priority of a court is to pass a decision on whether an individual is guilty or not. Writing history is an important byproduct of the proceedings, yet not a priority. Therefore, considering that the burden of proof for genocide and crimes against humanity is extremely heavy, the prosecutions probably wisely dropped the counts that were too cumbersome to prove. Expediting procedures does not equal disregarding the suffering, or failing to protect the accused. As for the latter claim, Karadzic, just like Milosevic and Seselj before him, chose to represent himself against the advice of the judges, who believe that a defense council provides for the best protection of the defendant’s rights. Finally, if an immunity deal ever existed, its revelation would compromise the consistency and credibility of those involved, but simultaneously, it would also prove the independence of the tribunal and would be a victory for international criminal justice. Eleni Vossou (MSc, LSE) is Intern at the European Commission-DG Enlargement.



cover story Union for the Mediterranean The recent developments in the Mediterranean region following the July EU declaration on a “Union for the Mediterranean� have provoked heated debates not only in the elite circles of state officials and academics, but also among civil society actors, including businessmen, NGOs, and researchers. The new initiative launched a number of concrete projects that highlight the need for dealing with several urgent issues: the pollution of the Mediterranean, the motorways of the sea, civil protection, solar energy, education, and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. The concrete projects and the expected private sector involvement gave the Barcelona Process fresh impetus and built momentum for the Mediterranean amongst a wider range of policy, economic, and civil society actors. At this stage, what is important in order to realize the goal of the Mediterranean’s transformation into a sea of cooperation, stability, and prosperity is the active involvement of all stakeholders. The cover story of this issue of The Bridge gives the floor to EU institutions, such as the European Commission and the European Parliament; to state officials, prominent academics, and researchers of think tanks/members of the EuroMeSCo Network; as well as to young scholars to elaborate on the prospects of the region aspiring to provide the public with new and fresh ideas that concern our common future.

Strengthening partnership with the South On July 13, at the “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean Summit” in Paris, the European Union committed to significantly enhancing its partnership with the Mediterranean. As the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy, I’d like to set out what we have achieved since the Barcelona Process – the existing cooperation mechanism with the Mediterranean was launched, and explain what more we intend to do now and how. But first a few words on the strategic context – the why. In 2003 the Commission published the European Security Strategy, a review of which will be presented to the December European Council. The key security threats identified will be of no surprise: terrorism, proliferation of arms, conflict, energy, the environment and climate change. What is common to all, as our citizens are only too aware, is that none can be addressed by one country alone. A border isn’t going to stop climate change. One government alone can’t



By Benita Ferrero-Waldner

stop electricity bills going up. Nor can one bank or stock market stop the global financial crisis. In today’s interconnected world, any effective response to these challenges must be collective – and include government, the private sector and civil society. The Commission’s aim in external relations policy is therefore the broadening and deepening of relations with our partners in key areas of strategic importance. This is so for all our relations with third-party countries, but particularly so in the case of our immediate neighborhood – which of course includes the Mediterranean region. The term Mediterranean, derived from Latin, means “in the middle of the Earth” – a fitting description for the place the Mediterranean has occupied in Europe’s psyche and development. Geographically, since the Phoenicians mastered navigation; culturally, since the expansion of Greek philosophy and the monotheistic religions; and politically, since the disap-

pearance of the Ottoman empire – the Mediterranean has been as central to Europe’s sphere of influence as Europe has been to that of the Mediterranean. If we look at the challenges which face us today, that has not changed. The economic gulf which separates Europe and the Mediterranean, a difference of 1 to 13 in GDP per capita between Spain and Morocco, has consequences for both our regions. The pollution of the Mediterranean Sea and water scarcity are a cause for mutual concern, not to mention conflict in the Middle East. The list goes on. So what have we achieved since the launch of the Barcelona Process under the Spanish presidency of the union in 1995? To give an idea of the level of the Commission’s engagement, from 2000 to 2007 the Commission disbursed more than 7 billlion euros on programs. This level of funding is largely comparable to the pre-accession assistance provided to new Member States

in the '90s. But what, if anything, has the funding delivered? I’d like to highlight the following; Progress in the Mediterranean region towards macro-economic stability. In 1995, inflation was on average at 12%, last year it was 3%. We have also made headway towards the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area covering over 750 million people. The creation of cooperation mechanisms in all key areas of mutual interest: transport, energy, industry, the environment, water, economic research and so on; Strengthened political dialog. The birth of many formal and informal social, cultural and human partnerships through initiatives such as the creation of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures. These are real achievements I would argue. But much more remains to be done. At the Paris Summit, European and Mediterranean leaders identified three key ways of achieving this: Creating better joint institutional governance mechanisms. A co-presidency, permanent joint committee and secretariat, the latter to be in charge of projects, will be put in place; Promoting large scale inter-regional and sub-regional projects, involving government, civil society and business, which deliver tangible results for citizens.

This last point is particularly important. It is on the quality, value and visibility of these projects that Europe’s new enhanced partnership with the South will be judged. Key to our ability to deliver will be the full engagement of the private sector, which is vital in my view. Four projects agreed at the Summit seem to me of particular note: Transport: the creation of land and maritime highways; Energy: a solar energy plan for the Mediterranean; Environment: completely removing pollution from the Mediterranean Sea Disaster response: a joint civil protection program on the prevention of, preparation for and response to natural disasters.

Just imagine the difference these initiatives could make. Better connections by land and sea will increase the possibilities for trade and exchange in the whole region. A clean Mediterranean could lead not only to the recovery of fish stocks and therefore the revenue of fishermen, but also help develop tourism. And the potential joint benefits of tapping solar energy need no explanation. Readers will see that ambition is not lacking. The difficulty will be in rising to the challenges of delivery. It is too early to judge success. But if seriousness of intent, resource allocation and work going into the projects are benchmarks along the way, the assessment of the Commission is that progress is promising. Benita Ferrero-Waldner is the EU Commissioner responsible for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy.

cover story

Bridges across the sea The Paris Summit of July 13 was a historical turning point in Euro-Mediterranean relations. With the Union for the Mediterranean, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership enters a new phase. It will become stronger, more efficient, and closer to its citizens. Together we will develop concrete projects in order to help overcome common challenges. Our aim is to achieve an area of peace, stability, and shared prosperity. The Union for the Mediterranean needs to put the people at the center of its policy, involve them in all the projects so that they can feel the concrete benefits of working together in their everyday life. The Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA), composed of Members of the European Parliament and of parliamentarians from the national parliaments of both shores of the Mediterranean, represents nearly 700 million citizens from the Mediterranean region. Our assembly is committed to defending and promoting common values such as peace, democracy and the protection of human rights. It is my ambition -- and determination -during my mandate to work for the reinforcement of the role of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly. The EMPA is indeed the legitimate parliamentary dimension of the Union for the Mediterranean. Its powers must be increased in order for the assembly to make proposals and evaluations, as well as to fulfill its role of monitoring the concrete policies that will be launched by the co-presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean. During my mandate as president of the EMPA, I will work towards this goal. In my speech at the Summit for the Mediterranean in Paris, when addressing the heads of states and governments from both sides of the Mediterranean, I strongly emphasized these aspects. I called for the EuroMediterranean Parliamentary Assembly to



By Hans-Gert Pöttering

become the parliamentary body of the Union for the Mediterranean. In addition, the day before the summit, on July 12, the Executive Committee of the EMPA, which is composed of Speaker of the Jordanian Parliament Abdel Hadi Al-Majali, President of the Italian House of Representatives Gianfranco Fini, President of the Moroccan Parliament Mustapha Mansouri, and myself, held an extraordinary meeting to approve a declaration calling for increased democratic legitimacy and accountability of the EuroMediterranean Partnership. I then conveyed this declaration to the president-in-office of the European Council, Nicolas Sarkozy. The Union for the Mediterranean proposed by President Sarkozy reinforces the links between the European Union and its Mediterranean partners. Initially, there were some issues open for discussion. However the European Parliament is satisfied that its position was taken into account. We always defended a Union for the Mediterranean with the participation of all 27 member states of the European Union and not only of those from the Mediterranean shore. What was achieved in the end fulfils this requirement. The Union for the Mediterranean is meant to be seen as the continuity of the Barcelona Process, and its achievements should not be minimized. We are not talking about something completely new. There are several existing successful projects and policies that must be kept, such as the Euro Mediterranean partners launched in the

framework of the European neighborhood policy or the Euro Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly . With the Union for the Mediterranean, the Barcelona Process enters a new phase, which is rooted in continuity. We have to combine the existing policies with the new ones in order to concretely move ahead and turn the Union for the Mediterranean into a success story. The development of practical projects has become a priority. For instance the building of roads -- the “Autoroutes de la Mer” along the Mediterranean coast and the mainland -measures to reduce pollution and to clean up the Mediterranean, or projects in the field of solar energy have to be realized. Another important aspect is the redistribution of scarce resources such as water, food, and energy, and the protection of our environment. Through dialogue and regular interaction, we want to build intellectual and cultural bridges over the Mediterranean; bridges rooted in mutual understanding and shared values. In this context the EMPA can definitely contribute to the promotion of democracy and fundamental freedoms. Being the representative body of nearly 700 million citizens the EMPA aims to increase cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region, be it in political, economic, or cultural terms. Hans-Gert Pöttering is President of the European Parliament and in that capacity President of the Delegation to the EuroMediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.

EU Mediterranean Israel


The creation of the EU and Israel actually have the same roots: in the defeat of the forces of fascism during World War II and the subsequent effort to promote stability in Europe and rectify injustice against the Jewish people in the post-war era. While millions of displaced Jews sought refuge in the new State of Israel following the horror of the Holocaust, European states sought to consolidate democracy and stability, ending animosities through greater integration. This effort began with the European Steel and Coal Community, followed by the EEC and finally the EU. While these goals initially found their expression mainly through enhanced economic cooperation, greater political integration as well as the need to further strengthen it -- particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the new EU of the 27 -- have become more and more apparent over the last two decades. The EU’s goals of promoting integration and stability have extended beyond Europe’s borders to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. The EU fully understands the need to promote development and peace in the Middle East, because it has a vested interest in the success of a region with a population of well over 100 million people that has borders with Europe. In fact, the EU has developed strategies to promote development and stability in the area, beginning with the Barcelona Process, the subsequent Euro-

By Ambassador Ali Yahya

pean Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and its Action Plans, and more recently with the Union for the Mediterranean discussions held in Paris. The main premise of the partnership between the EU and the Mediterranean region and the Middle East is to build an area of peace, security, and shared prosperity through cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, social, and security sectors. Israel is an important founding member of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and firmly supports all EU initiatives in the region, since it is abundantly clear that peace in the Middle East must be accompanied by a comprehensive development strategy. Thus Israel and the EU actually share the same fundamental values and goals regarding the need for peace, stability, and socioeconomic development in the wider area of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. While Israel and the EU may share the same goals, it also important to point out that Israel-EU relations are in many ways different than the ties the EU has with Israel’s neighbors in the area. Unlike many of its neighbors, Israel’s orientation is very European, a trait which

extends to just about every facet of the country, i.e., the society, culture, economy, government, etc. The “founding fathers” of Israel were Jews from Europe, representing the same intellectual current which resisted fascism, who settled in colonial Palestine bringing with them European values for the creation of a sovereign nation-state based on socialist and democratic ideals. While it may have a distinctive Mediterranean flavor and vigor, the Israeli government has a parliamentary system based on generous proportional representation and an independent judiciary that even many Europeans would envy. Notwithstanding serious differences with its neighbors and the security situation, Israel is a multicultural democratic state and society, recognizing the rights of all its citizens -- substantially no different than developed European ones. The vibrant Israeli cultural scene also has an essentially European character, as Israeli writers, dancers, musical groups, etc. are not only highly admired in Europe, but an almost permanent fixture at European cultural events. Even in the field of

cover story

sports, Israel participates in European athletic gatherings with its famous teams, like Maccabi in basketball, although this is not only the result of Israel’s affinity for Europe, but the Muslim boycott against it. (Note: I am still waiting for Maccabi to defeat one of the Greek basketball teams.) Israel also shares the same characteristics as developed European states in terms of its economy, and has even surpassed many of them in certain fields. Foreign investment in the country in 2006 reached $22 billion, primarily in the hightech sector. In the first quarter of 2008, Israel was in fourth place after the US, Europe, and China in attracting venture capital ($572 million), while its labor force has the highest proportion of scientists and technicians (145 per every 10,000 workers) in the world. Israel has become a high-tech hub and leader in fields like biotechnology, with many multinationals like Cisco, Motorola, IBM, Intel, and Samsung opening branches and/or research and development centers in the country.



The average GDP per capita in 2007 stood at around $28,000, on par with developed European states, while the growth rate reached 5.3% in 2006. Israel is one of the biggest EU trading partners in the Euromed area, with total trade amounting to 24 billion euros. Europe is Israel’s largest export market, with Israeli exports to the EU reaching 11.3 billion euros. Given their close affinity, it should therefore come as no surprise that Israel and the EU have sought to strengthen their relations, through the EU-Israel Association Agreement (1995), the Israeli- EU Action Plan (2004) in the framework of the ENP, the Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement (2008), and most recently with the EU-Israel Association Council decision (2008). Combined, these agreements institutionalize the diplomatic dialogue between Israel and the EU and foresee close cooperation between Israel and the EU in fields like the economy, science, culture, social migration, political dialogue, transport, energy, the environment, education, security, fighting crime, promoting the peace process and combating terrorism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Israel is the only country outside the EU which fully participates in EU R&D programs (7th Framework Program for Research and Development) and was the first country among all the European Neighborhood Partners to participate in several EU programs in fields like the environment, customs, academics, ener-

gy, competition and innovation, culture, and youth. Israel is constantly seeking to upgrade its relations with the EU. Nevertheless, Israel’s success and its close ties with the EU also point to the disparities in the region. Israel’s nominal GDP per capita is higher than the combined one of its immediate neighbors (PA, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon) while almost on par, just $2000 less, than the combined GDP per capita of all seven Arab states participating in ENP programs. Viewed against the backdrop of general problems in the Arab world plagued by authoritarianism, internal conflict, high illiteracy and lack of human rights, especially those of women, it is clear that Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and development, including civil society, in the area must be further strengthened. Regional prosperity is also tied to the Middle East peace process, as hostility and bloodshed are an obvious impediment to any cooperation and development. This process also includes ending anti-Israeli hostility and rejectionism by states in the area, particularly those participating in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The EU and Israel share the same vision for peace in the Middle East, namely

the creation of two states for two nations, Israel and an independent Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security. Israel and the EU must remain focused on their common goal of making this twostate vision become a reality. This involves taking an unwavering stance against and isolating extremist elements in the region like Iran, the Hamas and others, who preach the destruction of Israel and actually reject the two-state solution. In actuality, the same forces undermining peace are also the ones obstructing the development of civil societies within states in the area and cooperation between them. They are in fact, obstructing the declared goals of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The extremists are both the symptom of the region’s problems and the main obstacle to resolving them. The EU is highly involved in the Middle East Peace Process as a member of the International Quartet, through its bilateral dialogue with Israel and the other parties in the region, as well as through is support for the Palestinian Authority (economic assistance, support for civil institutions, police forces, through programs like PEGASE, the PRDP, EUPOL COPPs, etc.). Where the Palestinians are concerned, it is the largest contributor of aid, offering them $401.5 million in assistance in 2008. The EU was also involved in monitoring the borders of Gaza with Palestinian security forces until its representatives were expelled from the area with the violent takeover of the Strip by the Hamas. Its experience in integration, nation-building and conflict resolution can play an important role in promoting the peace process. Israel appreciates the role the EU plays as a

member of the International Quartet in relation to the peace process and its support for the Annapolis Conference, for capacity building in the Palestinian Authority, and its clear stand against the enemies of peace, including the Hamas and Iran and its nuclear program. Besides the peace process, another critical field that must be addressed in dealing with the regions problems is education. While cooperation in education is part of the declared goals of the EuroMediterranean partnership it is perhaps not stressed as much as it should be. There are 65 million illiterate people in the Middle East (40% of the population over the age of 15). More books have been translated in Greece alone than all Middle Eastern countries combined. Obviously development in the area will be extremely difficult unless the problem is confronted in a serious manner. Unfortunately, the void in education in Muslim states is often filled by extremist elements, sometimes religious in nature, poisoning generations to come. Therefore, an important of aspect of education, particularly in the Middle East, is teaching children tolerance because the new generation will be responsible for maintaining any peace and development achieved in the area. Israel and the EU not only have common values and a shared history, but ascribe to the same vision for peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean region. Israel and the EU should continue to deepen their cooperation for their mutual benefit. However, clearly, countries involved in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership have a

common responsibility to deal with the region’s problems. This involves furthering the declared goals of the Barcelona Process for development in the area including the economy, civil society and democracy, promoting the peace process, isolating extremists, but also tackling the critical problem of education for our youth. Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister, recently stated that the Middle East should aspire to create integration along the lines of the EU, to establish an area of peace, development and prosperity. This is perhaps an overly ambitious goal at present, but it is still the right one for the future. If we plant the tree of peace together, we will all enjoy its shade.

Mr. Ali Yahya is the Israeli Ambassador to Greece.

cover story

Nicolas Sarkozy The date of July 13, 2008 marked the beginning of a new era for relations between Europe and the Mediterranean region. The 27 member states of the European Union and 16 Mediterranean countries -- including Israel and its neighboring countries -met in Paris at Nicolas Sarkozy’s initiative to approve the launching of a new cooperation framework, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). While this Paris summit signaled both “the return of France to Europe” and the start of the French EU presidency, the extensive media coverage of the impressive gathering of European and Mediterranean government leaders cannot conceal the current tensions among the attending nations or the numerous uncertainties that continue to surround the implementation of the UfM. Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to renew Euro-Mediterranean relations is supported by the acknowledgment of three factors. The first is the partial failure of the European policy towards Mediterranean countries. The aim of the “Barcelona Process,” also launched with great ceremony, in November 1995, was to develop and deepen political, economic, and cultural ties between Europe and its Mediterranean neighbors. Ultimately, this process was meant to “promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean Basin.” Twelve years later, the facts speak for themselves: The Barcelona Process has failed to resolve the various political crises that have assailed the



et la vision By Frédéric Allemand

basin over the last decade.1 Little progress has been made in improving respect for human rights and political freedom.2 From an economic vantage point, despite the eight partnership agreements entered into force between the EU, its member states, and the Mediterranean countries, the strides made have fallen far short of the goals initially set: The average income gap between the South and North Mediterranean countries remains at 1:5 (US $6,200 per capita in the South vs. approximately US $30,000 in the EU). Only 1 percent of EU foreign direct investment is targeting Mediterranean countries. The second factor is that the Mediterranean region constitutes a traditional zone of influence for France, which is one of its primary investors (on an equal footing with Germany and the Netherlands). Some 170,000 French nationals -- or one-third of the French living abroad in non-OECD countries -- are located in the Mediter1. The Barcelona Process never managed to influence the course taken by the political crises that broke out in the Mediterranean region: the closing of the land border between Morocco and Algeria due to their conflict over the Western Sahara (August 1994), the Algerian Civil War and massacres (1996–1998), the U.S. intervention in Iraq (March 2003) and the Lebanese crisis (summer 2006). 2. European Commission. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: "Reinvigorating EU actions on Human Rights and democratisation with Mediterranean partners. Strategic guidelines," COM (2003) 294, final version, 21 May 2003.

ranean region. More than half of the 12,500 French overseas military forces are stationed in the Mediterranean Basin or its vicinity (Afghanistan). The UfM also provides France with an opportunity to challenge the growing political, military, and economic influence of the United States over this region. According to Tunisian journalist Wicem Souissi, the sudden introduction of the French UfM proposal in public debate, right in the middle of a presidential election year in the US, is not fortuitous, “Through its EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2008, France is taking advantage of the approaching end of George W. Bush’s term of office -- and thus, of the momentarily dimmed presence of the United States on the international stage -- to act as a superpower.”3 The third and final factor has to do with the fact that the French president is eager to prove that there is no such thing as political fatalism. In an environment in which political leaders are often criticized by the public for being negligent, Nicolas Sarkozy, in his own campaign, has been stressing his belief that nobody knows what the future holds. His view is that the role of the president of the French Republic should not be confined to describing and explaining events, and 3. “L’Union pour la Méditerranée, une Europe sans l’Autre?” Nouvel Observateur, 10 July 2008.

that a statesman should be determined to change the course of events. “To achieve this, one must have unshakable determination, one must be able to persuade others to share one’s dreams, ambitions and objectives. A politician must have ambitions, dreams and objectives.” Nicolas Sarkozy’s visions for the Mediterranean are indeed ambitious. The UfM “is not solely about turning the Mediterranean Basin into a bridge between the North and the South. It is also about turning it into a haven of peace, culture, democracy and sustainable development from which will emerge -- shaped by centuries and civilizations -- the common destiny of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”4 This ambition is commendable; some consider it totally unrealistic -- it is, after all, from the Mediterranean Basin that numerous security and energy-related and economic challenges have originated, along with their solutions. Yet, as Lluis Basset, editorial writer with the Spanish daily El Pais, has suggested, the utopia makes sense on the domestic front, “The French President needs a flashy and aggressive foreign policy to satisfy the French and to ease them out of their depression.”5 It should be remembered that Nicolas Sarkozy first came up the idea of a Union for the Mediterranean (which was referred to as the “Mediterranean Union” until December 2007) during his presidential campaign stop in the city of Toulon, which is known as much for its opening onto the Mediterranean Sea (it is home to the French Navy’s Mediter4. Speech made in Toulon on 2 February 2007. 5. Quoted by José Ignacio Torreblanca, “Sarkozy’s foreign policy: where do European interests and values stand?”, Comment, February 2008.

ranean fleet) as it is for the city’s large contingent of far-right voters. One condition for the success of the Euro-Mediterranean project was for Nicolas Sarkozy to be able to tap into the EU Council presidency that France was to assume during the second half of 2008. Thereby gaining some control over the community’s agenda, the French president would be in a position to focus his European partners’ attention on the most urgent issues affecting France. Yet he needed to move fast, if not hastily: There were scarcely 14 months between the date he would assume power and the start of the French presidency of the EU Council. However, two slipups would occur. The first was a matter of form. The French head of state officially announced the French project to the world media in the course of a speech he made in Tangiers on Oct. 23, 2007, without having fully informed his European and Mediterranean partners beforehand. Such a method served him well in that it bypassed the diplomatic negotiation phase, often tagged as sluggish and in-

efficient. By the same token, it presented France’s negotiating partners with a fait accompli assumption, and it took time to ease the ensuing tensions and misunderstandings. To that end, the French president made six official trips to southern and eastern Mediterranean countries in less than a year -- a record for the Fifth Republic! Furthermore, a permanent Euro-Mediterranean committee composed of diplomats and high-ranking officials was created to assist Nicolas Sarkozy with formulating the precise structure of the UfM, and in persuading Mediterranean countries to participate. It was the determination to swiftly achieve concrete results that spearheaded the choice of a legal framework for the French UfM project. The latter was initially introduced as an intergovernmental cooperation framework reserved exclusively for Mediterranean periphery and distinct and separate from the European Union. This move, reminiscent of the formation of the Council of Baltic Sea States, was all the bolder in that the UfM project emerged from the community without being tied down to any

cover story

European rules. France was thus hoping to launch it without having to seek the approval of the 26 other member states, most of which were more concerned by the East than by the South. The launch of the Mediterranean initiative outside of the EU framework was also expected to provide for an intergovernmental form of governance that would be better suited to the French traditional model. However, this approach soon proved inadequate. Germany and the Netherlands protested their exclusion from the French plan. Even if they were not “Mediterranean” in a geographic sense, they rightly considered themselves to be Mediterranean by virtue of the volume of their investments in the basin and the large number of immigrants from that region living within their own borders. Italy and Spain argued that the French project was competing with already existing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation mechanisms, including



the Barcelona Process, in which both countries had heavily invested their time and energy. As for the European Commission, it felt that the project was “encroaching” on community authority. At that point, the French president had to take a more pragmatic stand. In December 2007, during the first Rome Summit between Nicolas Sarkozy, Romano Prodi, and José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Mediterranean Union was renamed the “Union for the Mediterranean.” Then, in March 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel agreed on an initiative that would be integrated into the Barcelona Process, but with some degree of flexibility: All EU member states would be included in the new process, yet only those which were to have an interest in the projects it would undertake would play an active role in it. The European Council of March 2008 ratified this principle at the European level during the same month, allowing the Mediterranean Union to become the “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean.” The French project thus became a community project and the EU took back control over the development of Euro-Mediterranean relations. The commission was asked by the European Council to submit a proposal on this project, which was formulated in close cooperation with the French government. Presented in May 2008, the proposal was approved during the June 2008 meeting of the European Council

and submitted in its existing form to the Mediterranean partners on the occasion of the Paris Summit. For France, it was a slap in the face, but not too bitter a blow: In exchange for the sharing of its project, France retained the Mediterranean Union’s intergovernmental governance model, although a few revisions were made to meet the community treaties’ legal requirements. The UfM is now endowed with a Euro-Mediterranean Council made of heads of state and government officials responsible for defining key guidelines and for solving potential political deadlocks. This council, which meets every two years, is co-chaired by an EU representative, France, in the second half of 2008, and a representative of the Mediterranean country partners, Egypt, for a two-year term. The union also has a permanent general secretariat and a standing joint committee (comprised of representatives of the national administrations). In his address to the Ambassadors’ Conference on Aug. 26 2008, the French president expressed how pleased he was about the success of his initiative, describing the UfM as the “most striking validation of the new course given to our policy in the Near East.” Such satisfaction seemed premature for a UfM which, at the time, existed only on paper, and whose success or failure could

not be measured prior to fall of 2010, when the next meeting of the participating countries’ heads of state and government officials will be held. The latter will then review the progress made toward meeting the five priority objectives set during the Paris Summit -- namely the removal of pollution of the Mediterranean Sea, the development of a Mediterranean Solar Plan, the creation of “motorways of the sea,” the establishment of a civil protection mechanism, the founding of a SME Development Agency, and the implementation of a Euro-Mediterranean university exchange program. In addition, several issues still need to be addressed, notably financing, which is unofficially estimated will range between ú25 and 30 billion over a period of 5 years. Annual financing needs would therefore be “only” ú1 to 2 billion higher than the total amount of aid given each year by the EU, its member states and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the Mediterranean countries. The commission made it clear that no more than 10 percent of the community funds earmarked for European Neighborhood Policy initiatives would be allocated to the UfM. Consequently, new financing sources are being explored, such as increasing sovereign fund contributions from Gulf countries (which are said to be worth $1.6 trillion), getting international financial backers involved, or redirecting the ú10 billion that migrants living in Europe transfer each year into the Mediterranean countries’ informal economies towards the Mediterranean

financial and banking systems. With this aim in mind, nine European and Mediterranean banks have signed a first Memorandum of Understanding on 7 July 2008 to facilitate these migrants’ remittances and lower the transfer fees. This will not lead to a compulsory increase in European FDI in the Mediterranean Basin, as this is also dependent upon the business climate. Factors such as the fight against corruption, new forms of investment guarantees, increasingly independent judicial systems or state-of-the-art rules of economic governance call for indepth reforms that, in turn, call for time. Furthermore, the current economic crisis and the already noticeable drop of FDI flows into North African countries, around 3.2 percent in 2007, will make it necessary to reset the agenda. Lastly, it remains to be seen whether or not Nicolas Sarkozy, despite his goodwill and drive, will manage to reverse this trend by the end of his EU Presidency so that the UfM can get into shape within the prescribed timeframe. But this outcome should not cause much surprise: As the Car-

dinal of Retz, a French statesman who lived during the Age of Enlightenment, reminds us, “There is a big difference between desire and willpower, between willpower and resolution, between resolution and the choice of means, and between the choice of means and implementation.” Frédéric Allemand is Lecturer in Law at the Institute for Political Studies (SciencesPo) and Senior Research Fellow at the Fondation pour l’Innovation Politique (FONDAPOL), Paris.

cover story

The way ahead

A German perspective Based on a compromise between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean” was officially launched on July 13th at a summit of 43 countries in Paris. The somewhat cumbersome name of the initiative perfectly reflects what has been a tiresome diplomatic struggle over several months, causing controversy within the entire EU and, at times, casting a cloud over FrancoGerman relations and the beginning of the French EU presidency. Eventually, disagreements were resolved and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) enjoyed a successful inauguration with much fanfare and publicity. Germany sincerely recognizes President Sarkozy’s outstanding diplomatic success in assembling everyone at the same table and wholeheartedly welcomes the muchneeded effort to upgrade the EU’s relations with its Mediterranean neighbors and to inject a new dynamic into the Barcelona Process. However, open questions and cautiousness remain when it comes to the substantives of the initiative. The Union for the Mediterranean and German interests Originally planned as an exclusive club, President Sarkozy’s proposal for a Mediterranean Union faced strong opposition from Chancellor Merkel, who saw European unity jeopardized. On the diplo-



By Kathrin Brockmann

matic level, France’s unilateral move severely irritated German diplomats and politicians. Angela Merkel made it very clear that cooperation with the Mediterranean is not only in the interest of the EU’s southern members, but is “a mission for all of us in Europe”.1 In light of increasing pressure stemming from shared environmental risks, demographic developments, migration flows, and terrorist activities, and given the realities of European integration, such as the internal market and the Schengen area, all EU members have a vested interest in cooperating with their southern neighbors to jointly address these problems. Merkel therefore insisted from the beginning that all of the EU-27 be included. As the Barcelona Process has remained largely unsuccessful in addressing these challenges, Germany welcomes the UfM as a means to revitalize Euro-Med cooperation in these fields. However Berlin does not see much added value through the creation of new institutions and is unlikely to support any 1. Germany and France Reach Agreement on Mediterranean Union, 5 March 2008, http://

development of the initiative, which is in competition with the existing structures of the Barcelona Process or the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). Merkel also prevailed with her position that no extra funds other than the ones already allocated to the Barcelona Process will be given to the new body. Regarding the project’s new form, Paris initially envisioned the UfM as an inter-state union, while German officials much prefer what Foreign Minister Steinmeier advocates as a “Union of Projects.”2 2. Merkel Says Mediterranean Union Off to a Good Start, REGIERUNGonline, 07_2008.html.

become a crucial variable in geopolitics, and projects in this field have a high potential for mutual benefits, this could be one of the areas in which cooperation might quickly take shape. A Franco-German proposal for a Mediterranean solar energy plan is on the table for discussion. The potential for power generation from solar energy in sun-rich regions such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been thoroughly analyzed by the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), and is illustrated by examples like the Andasol 1, Europe’s first parabolic trough power plant. Investments into renewable energies and particularly solar power installations in MENA countries would provide these countries with their own sustainable source of energy, which is a crucial factor for sustainable development. In addition, solar energy imports from the region could also help feed Europe's growing energy demands. Germany is particularly interested and willing to engage in projects in this area.4 Given its advanced technology and experience in this field, the implementation of a Mediterranean solar energy plan could entail significant business opportunities for Germany. A number of companies have already voiced their interest in the construction of solar power plants.5 Germany has recently stepped up efforts to diversify en-

The first plans for such projects were confirmed at the summit in Paris and include the removal of pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, transnational land and waterways, a joint civil protection program, a Mediterranean solar plan, a EuroMed university, and a Mediterranean business development initiative. As energy has

4. See Anerkennung aus Deutschland, 13 July 2008, 3E60C4EA807F/Doc~E67E4D2DDD6B94E2E8EB8677 1CE53B604~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html. 5. See Die Mittelmeerunion – Potential für schwäbische Unternehmen!, IHK Schwaben, Lindau, 18 July 2008,

ergy supplies, exemplified by the recent plan for a German-Nigerian energy partnership and Chancellor Merkel’s visit to gas and oil-rich Algeria immediately after the Paris Summit. The recent frictions with Russia only further fuel these attempts. However energy is only one area of cooperation with the potential to give drive to the initiative. In order to flesh out the Barcelona Process, the advancement of concrete projects with measurable success is needed in all of the areas identified in Paris. On Projects and Structures Such projects could serve as confidencebuilding measures and may ultimately lead to rapprochement through cooperation. However, despite their necessity, common projects without complementary structures in place may not suffice to sustain cooperation. Yet it is exactly these structures that are at the heart of the problem. The key question to be answered in the coming months is how the many existing programs and projects for Euro-Med relations -- often suffering from a lack of visibility -- and the newly created union can be meaningfully integrated into one coherent approach towards the region. This includes complicated institutional, political, and legal questions.As details are being developed and discussed in the runup to the next meeting of foreign ministers

cover story

in November, Germany is likely to take up the role of watchdog over the existing institutional structures, preventing any development that may undermine the EU’s programs already in place and ensuring that all steps taken follow the guiding principle of enhancing the Barcelona Process as stressed in the summit’s joint declaration. The more the merrier? New unions in the making In addition to bringing Euro-Med relations back into the spotlight, the establishment of the UfM has also served as a welcome precedent to advance similar ideas with the EU’s eastern neighbors, namely the “Eastern Partnership” and the “Union for the Black Sea.” This is likely to reinforce the competitive and mutually impeding struggle for influence and financial resources, with southern EU members advocating the southern dimension and northern EU members the eastern dimension of neighborhood relations. With Germany traditionally being a voice for the eastern neighbors’ interests, and German MEP Elmar Brok having been at the forefront of endorsing a similar idea called the “Neighborhood Policy Plus” in 2005, Germany has already welcomed the Polish push for the “Eastern Partnership” and is likely to be



one of its active promoters.9 To prevent further division within the EU during already difficult times, the current momentum must be used to thoroughly reassess existing bilateral and multilateral initiatives and, based on this assessment, reopen debate on ways to meaningfully incorporate (a), all efforts towards the same region into a comprehensive regional policy, and (b), these regional approaches into a light, but coherent framework for neighborhood relations vis-à-vis these very different regions. The Franco-German alliance has an important role to play in this. Walking the talk: Challenges ahead In the coming months, participants of the UfM are confronted with difficult tasks, such as choosing the right institutional setup, attracting funds to finance the agreed projects, truly creating co-ownership beyond a co-presidency, and setting the right incentives for commitment from all parties involved. The joint declaration states that the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership “will be driven in all its aspects by the principle of consensus,” however, achieving unanimity of 43 countries will quickly be proven as “mission impossible.” To avoid yet another gridlocked situation, giving substantive power to the envisioned principle of a variable geometry that allows for “coalitions of the willing” to go ahead with joint projects is one of the most pressing issues. Given that the Mediterranean co-president as well as the host countries for the summit meetings must be chosen by consensus, it seems almost impossible that Israel will ever be approved in either role. This hints to one of the biggest impedi9. See Poland, Sweden defend ‘Eastern initiative’, 26 May 2008,

ments to the Barcelona Process in the past and potential risks for the future. It remains unclear how the UfM can overcome southern Mediterranean countries’ hostilities and unwillingness to cooperate with each other to allow for a truly regional dimension of the partnership. This SouthSouth dimension of cooperation is largely underdeveloped and could potentially become the biggest added value of the new initiative when compared to the bilateral European neighborhood scheme. In this light, complimentary diplomatic and political efforts for a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict via all tracks will be decisive for the progress of the UfM as for any other multilateral cooperation framework in the region. Even though the Paris Summit has sent positive signals in the right direction, in light of these multiple challenges, it remains to be seen in how far participants of the UfM can build on this positive start and fill the Summit’s declaration with life to “transform these good intentions into actions.” That idea that the UfM offers a substantial added value has yet to be proved.

Kathrin Brockmann is Program Officer of the International Forum on Strategic Thinking at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).



hopes By Roberto Aliboni

After a long debate, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) has been endorsed by the July 13, 2008 Paris Summit of heads of state and government. The UfM is an intergovernmental organization encompassing the EU, its member states and non-EU countries of the Mediterranean area -- Northern Africa, the Near East, and the Western Balkans countries on the Adriatic Sea. The UFM has a total 44 members. Libya rejected the invitation to join. It is heir to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), the policy the EU initiated in 1995 in Barcelona with a view to setting in motion regional cooperation, development and integration across the Mediterranean Basin. While the EMP didn’t live up to expectations, the UfM is now supposed to give Euro-Mediterranean relations new impetus. The central tenet of the new policy is codecision and co-management. While the EMP was used to associate Mediterranean non-EU countries under the EU’ s organization umbrella, the UfM is an organization of peers. Furthermore, political representation in the

UfM has been upgraded with respect to the EMP: There is a biennial meeting of the heads of state and government on top of annual conferences of the foreign ministers. Co-decision and co-management is enshrined in a co-presidency with one president from the EU and the other from non-EU countries. Furthermore, there is a mixed secretariat, composed of 20 officials -- 10 from the EU and its members and 10 from non-EU partners. This secretariat has the main mission of conceiving of and implementing key, regionwide projects of mostly social and economic character. These projects are assumed to work as dynamic factors by providing integration and development in the region as well as fostering convergence between the northern

and southern Mediterranean. The EMP failed to assure this convergence. In fact, gaps in basic social and economic indicators did not narrow at all since the beginning of the Barcelona process. The new UfM program based on key projects should precisely succeed in narrowing the gap. All in all, the basic innovations the UfM is laying on with respect to the EMP are: (a), a set of strategic regional projects managed by a light-footed, small secretariat and intended to assure dynamism of the process (rather than the comprehensive and somehow sluggish agenda run by the EU Commission); (b), a genuine partnership of “equals” bound to make southern partners own the process (rather than a somehow subordinate association to EU Mediterranean policies); and (c), an enhanced political representation to make the process of Barcelona more visible and effective in tackling the longstanding problems and conflicts of the region. Will it work? Focusing on few key projects is, in principle, the right thing to do. However, the proj-

cover story

ects should not have a strategic role when taken one by one. Their strategic role has to stem from being part of an overall development strategy. The six projects pointed out by the Paris Summit (De-pollution of the Mediterranean; Maritime and Land Highways; Civil Protection; Alternative Energies: Mediterranean Solar Plan; Higher Education and Research, Euro-Mediterranean University; The Mediterranean Business Development Initiative) are only partly convincing in this respect, as they fail to fit with a unitary, recognizable strategy directed at closing the NorthSouth gap across the Mediterranean. Maybe more room should be made, beside education -- as contemplated by the Paris priorities -- to scientific innovation, technology, and vocational training as well. The latter would contribute to alter “starting conditions” in the southern Mediterranean countries and give more chances to individuals and firms in a proper strategic perspective. Other projects contemplated by the summit’s shopping list seem to have to do with more conventional concerns and other strategies. Maybe the Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers conference next November, in finalizing the UfM



Work Program, will proceed to clarify its overall development strategy and set out a more conspicuous list of key projects. As for political dialogue, it will certainly be less inconclusive than in the EMP and may, in contrast, bring about effective cooperation and joint action. The inherent opposition and the splits that have characterized the EMP will certainly come to a stop, as the agenda is not established by the EU presidency anymore. Topics as controversial as democracy, political reform, and human rights will hardly be included in the agenda under the UfM’s copresidency. In general, the rule of co-ownership in the UfM will exclude a number of arguments of interest to EU countries from being considered or approved, or will push them to the very back of the stage. This stems not only from European complacency towards the southern partners, in particular the Arabs. It stems from European trends as well. While the EMP was related to the EU and its normative foreign policy, the UfM reflects EU denationalization tendencies and the comeback of realism. Rapprochement among Euro-Med states is already evident in matters relating to securitization, as terrorism and immigration, where there are controversies and rifts, still even substantive cooperation. The UfM walks in this same direction. All this makes Euro-Med governments as of today much closer than in past years and may promise a cooperative UfM in tune with European policy shifts rather than against European values. As for the UfM enhanced level of political representation and partners’ “equality,” these factors are not “per se” conducive to successful political cooperation. Success would depend on variables lying outside the UfM, like the EU ability to strengthen its foreign policy,

US foreign policy, etc. However, the emerging convergence between EU and non-EU EuroMed partners we have just pointed out may prove conducive to political dialogue and cooperation and may help members’ “equality” and their higher level of representation to work in making the UfM deliver. Having said that, the adoption of co-decision as the UfM’s fundamental tenet must receive due appreciation. First of all, it may work as a learning process. Second, and most importantly, it will limit results. Still, once acquired, results would be credible and feasible, as they would be backed by co-ownership. The shift from EU tutorship to co-ownership is in any case a step forward. So an array of doubts surrounds the UfM launch. However, the UfM need not be underestimated at all. If the key projects, or some of them, succeed, this success would strengthen UfM political leadership and give it the force and the courage to increase cooperation and undertake joint action. In this sense, the UfM leadership should be advised to adopt a kind of two-stage, “low politicshigh politics” strategy, by concentrating on assuring the projects’ success in the first few years so as take advantage of this success subsequently, and become able to enhance the level of political cooperation. In any case, the wish is that weaknesses will be corrected and success attained. Dr. Roberto Aliboni is Vice President at the Italian International Affairs InstituteIAI, Rome.

Strategies to be reassessed French President Nicolas Sarkozy officially launched the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) initiative, seen as a “Union of Projects,” at a heads of Euro-Mediterranean states summit on July 13, 2008, in Paris, France. The UFM is supposed to strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership objective of enhancing closer Euro-Mediterranean relations. What are the prospects for this ambitious geopolitical regional undertaking? Since the end of the Cold War, there have been several attempts to promote regional cooperation in the Mediterranean. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean (CSCM), the West Mediterranean Forum also referred to as the 5+5 initiative, the Mediterranean Forum, the Council for the Mediterranean, the EuroMediterranean Partnership, and the European Neighbourhood Policy are some of the numerous initiatives that have had mixed results since being launched over the past two decades. So what is the relevance of launching the Mediterranean Union policy, and what are the prospects for such a Union in contemporary international relations? Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, most of

By Stephen Calleya

the international community’s political and economic attention, including that of the European Union, has been concentrated on managing the smooth transition of Central and Eastern Europe. The outcome of this policy focus has been the achievement of regional integration between Western and Eastern Europe in a relatively short period of time. At the same time, political differences and economic disparities between Europe and the southern shores of the Mediterranean have resulted in a situation where both perceptual and tangible gaps have continued to increase. It has therefore become very clear that if geo-strategic stability between Europe and the Mediterranean is to be achieved, a more concerted effort must be implemented with a focus on the Mediterranean. The Union for the Mediterranean offers Europe and the international community an opportunity to carry out a strategic reassessment that will allow for more political attention and economic resources to be directed towards upgrading stability and op-

portunities across the Mediterranean. Post-2008, international attention must focus on ensuring that Europe’s southern dimension becomes a region of growth. This must include the transfer of skills and resources from the more developed countries of Europe to allow southern Mediterranean states to implement successful economic policies. Creating a more dynamic economic zone of growth will help to start reducing animosity and tension and prevent the alternative scenario of instability in the Mediterranean from increasing. The proposal to establish a Union for the Mediterranean must be welcomed in that it has at least again helped focus international attention on a very important geo-strategic crossroads of different civilizations, and a crucial post-Cold War theater of operations. At this stage the concept is not a fixed concept, but a work in progress -- the objective is to create a ‘Barcelona Plus’ situation where Euro-Mediterranean relations are

cover story

truly re-launched on a more solid footing. The UfM will thus start to an unknown destination. What is, however, very important is that the UfM is mapped in such a manner that it is actually taking into consideration input from future members, thus already implementing the principle of co-ownership from the very start. Regional cooperation is not an aim in itself. It has to be pursued with a clear strategy, clearly defined objectives, and instruments to advance long-term objectives, and a clear sense of priorities. In the Mediterranean, what sort of regional cooperation makes sense? In emphasizing the significance of international regions as an intermediate level of analysis between the nation-state and the global international system, this study seeks



to assist in identifying the changes taking place in Euro-Mediterranean international relations at the start of the 21st century and the potential for future cooperation in the Mediterranean Basin. Are the obstacles blocking regionalism across the Mediterranean insurmountable? What can be done to trigger sub-regional cooperation? What timeframes should be adopted to carry out the necessary political changes to cope with regional demands? Should there be a more concerted effort to institutionalize regional relations? This last is probably an essential measure if regional working programs are to be implemented in the foreseeable future. It has become a truism that the new global economy is drawing states ever closer together. Yet growing interdependence has not affected all parts of the globe to the same extent. Some regions have become much more interdependent in political and economic terms than others. For example, while countries across Europe are constantly increasing the intensity of political and economic interaction between themselves, the countries just south of the European continent in the Mediterranean have not succeeded in fostering similar patterns of interaction. The removal of Cold War shackles over the last decade has resulted in a situation in which the countries of the Mediterranean are finding it more difficult to compete globally. Unless Mediterranean states begin a process of sub-regional integration and regional integration, they face the stark

danger of falling further behind in the postCold War international system. The main reason to support UfM proposals is that it is in both the EU and the Mediterranean states’ interests for the UFM to succeed, given the indivisibility of security between Europe and the Mediterranean. Across the Mediterranean, geopolitical and geo-economic indicators are not positive. FDI is lacking, intra-Mediterranean trade remains limited, North-South economic disparity is resulting in a permanent poverty curtain across the Mediterranean, the demographic time-bomb continues to escalate, unemployment continues to increase, illegal migration has reached alarming levels, illiteracy remains a very high levels, and an escalation of ongoing conflicts remains a serious concern. Given the indivisibility of security in Europe and the Mediterranean, the EU must continue to adopt a more proactive stance when it comes to influencing and managing the international relations of the Mediterranean area. Geographical proximity and stability in the Mediterranean dictates that the EU needs to try and influence regional dynamics in the Middle East more systematically than it has been in recent years. Failure to do so will continue to stifle attempts to strengthen Euro-Mediterranean relations through the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and also have a negative impact on the EU’s neighborhood policy agenda that is currently being implemented. When it comes to addressing EuroMediterranean security challenges, the list

of threats and risks is a daunting one. The plethora of the security challenges associated with the North-South debate includes illegal migration, terrorism, religious intolerance, and the lack of human rights. All extra-regional actors with an interest in ensuring that future Euro-Mediterranean relations remain peaceful and more prosperous, including the United States, must act to ensure that the Middle East is not left to collapse as a result of an attitude of indifference. International organizations must guard against adopting an attitude of indifference when it comes to securing a peaceful future for this region. The outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other regional conflicts across the Middle East will have a major bearing on the future direction of 21st century relations. One cannot overemphasize the strategic significance of this region when providing an assessment of countering sources of insecurity in post-Cold War relations. Both the EU and the Arab world need a critical reassessment of regional cooperation. Regional cooperation is not an aim in itself. It has to be pursued with a clear strategy, clearly defined objectives and instruments to advance long-term objectives, and a clear sense of priorities. What sort of regional cooperation makes sense? Where is there a chance of advancing? In the case of the Mediterranean, the task of overcoming the obstacles that are hampering regional cooperation must consist of better management of ongoing re-

gional efforts and more effective monitoring of goals being sought. A roadmap that stipulates short, medium, and long-term phases of region-building is necessary if any progress is to be registered in establishing a Euro-Mediterranean community of values. All international institutions with a Mediterranean dimension should provide their think tank platform to map out such a strategy so that a Union for the Mediterranean of diverse states becomes a reality in the near future. Efforts to reactivate sub-regional cooperative initiatives in recent years have helped to improve regional relations across the Mediterranean. The lack of coordination between the different regional groupings and the heterogeneous nature of the groupings’ membership have, however, not triggered any specific attention to the goal of building a more integrated and thus competitive Mediterranean region. The way forward must include evaluating previous regional initiatives such as the EMP, 5+5, Med Forum, and the Council of the Mediterranean, and identify scope for synergy between the different initiatives. In such an exercise one needs to guard against abstract grand designs. The focus needs to be on delivering practical modalities of cooperation. Such an enhanced dialogue will also provide more dynamism and substance to the EMP, ENP, and also sub-regional groupings such as the Med Forum,

the 5+5, and the UFM. Implementing trans-Mediterranean regional projects with adequate funding in the sectors that have been identified that include depollution of the Mediterranean, maritime and land highways, civil protection, alternative energies such as a Mediterranean solar plan, higher education and research, and a Mediterranean business development plan, will help to establish a truly interactive confidence building network across the Euro-Mediterranean area and thus go a long way in fostering a closer understanding of one another. Professor Dr. Stephen C. Calleya is Director of the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at the University of Malta.

cover story

A mirage


a credible ‘Barcelona Plus’?

By Erwan Lannon

In November 1995, the then 27 EuroMediterranean partners adopted a declaration that is the founding act of the EuroMediterranean Partnership (EMP) in Barcelona. The EMP was to be based on two complementary dimensions: the bilateral track with the so-called EuroMediterranean Association Agreements establishing Free Trade Areas (now concluded with all the Mediterranean Partners1, with the exception of Syria), and the multilateral track known as the ‘Barcelona Process’ and constituted by multilateral conferences, networks, and cooperation projects. In 2007, the EU launched a new proximity strategy called the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), embracing not only the Mediterranean countries of the Barcelona Process -- with the exception of 1. Originally, in 1995, the EU’s 12 Mediterranean partners were Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Malta, Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Cyprus and Malta joined the EU in 2004.



Turkey -- but also Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and the three countries of the southern Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan). With the launching of the ENP, the bilateral track of the EuroMediterranean Partnership has been considerably reinforced. New instruments have been introduced, such as ENP Country Reports, Action Plans, and Progress Reports. These new instruments were in fact already used within the framework of the pre-accession strategy for candidate countries to EU membership. However the ENP is not a pre-accession strategy as such. In other words, the least to say is that the Euro-Mediterranean framework for cooperation was already extremely complex when in July 2008, in Paris, a new initiative called the “Union for the Mediterranean” led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy was adopted by the EU and its Mediterranean partners in order to reinforce the current Barcelona Process.

The genesis of the project: from the ‘Union of the Mediterranean’ to the ‘Union for the Mediterranean’ Since its inception, the project has been considerably amended. It is therefore necessary to examine its genesis. Within the framework of the electoral campaign of the then candidate Sarkozy the issue of the “Union of the Mediterranean” was mentioned several times during important meetings such as those held in Toulon and Tangier. To sum up, Sarkozy’s original idea was to establish a “Union for the Mediterranean,” i.e., involving only riparian States of the Mare Nostrum and not the EU as a whole. Sarkozy’s hidden agenda was to: Reinforce the role of France within the EU and in the Mediterranean in order the play the role of the leader of the entire zone; redefine the Arab and African policies of France; find an alternative to the accession of Turkey in the form of a privileged partnership. The reactions to the French initiative were very strong. In short, the European Commission said that if the project was to be created outside the EU framework, the initiative was not going to be financed by the community budget. Angela Merkel also reacted quite strongly, insisting that the project was not consistent with the current institutional rules and practices. This situation generated severe tensions in German and French diplomatic relations. Spain and Italy, given the importance

of Euro-Mediterranean relations for them, then considered that the initiative was a good opportunity to put the Mediterranean at the top of the EU agenda and decided to play the role of mediators in the Franco-German conflict. It was, for instance, Miguel Angel Moratinos who proposed to switch from the “Union of the Mediterranean” to the “Union for the Mediterranean,” involving all EU Member States and all the Mediterranean partners. A meeting was then held in Rome between France, Italy, and Spain in order to make proposals more compatible with EU policies. The political compromise was reached when the European Council of March 13, 2008 adopted a statement entitled, “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean,” according to which, “the European Council approved the principle of a union for the Mediterranean which will include the member states of the EU and the non-EU Mediterranean coastal states.”2 The European Commission then published, on May 20, 2008, a communiqué entitled the “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean,”3 putting forward more concrete proposals to be discussed at the Paris Summit. It took onboard the

main French proposals, but in a way more compatible with the current EU rules and the so-called Barcelona acquis. The French EU Presidency finally organized the Euro-Mediterranean Summit of the Heads of States or Government of July 13, 2008, where a “Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean”4 was adopted by the participants with a view to enhance multilateral relations, increase co-ownership of the Barcelona Process, set governance on the basis of equal footing and translate it into concrete projects more visible to citizens. The outcomes of the July 2008 Paris Summit Among the novelties of the Union for the Mediterranean one should first highlight a number of newcomers: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Monaco. The second novelty is the new institutional architecture of the Union for the Mediterranean. The first new body is the rotating copresidency (one president from the EU, another from the Mediterranean partners) 4. Joint Declaration of the ‘Paris Summit for the Mediterranean’, Paris, 13 July 2008, mport/0713_declaration_de_paris/Joint_declaration_of_the_Paris_summit_for_the_Mediterranean-EN.pdf

of the Barcelona Process/Union for the Mediterranean. According to the European Commission, the northern presidency must be compatible with the provisions on the external representation of the EU; treaties meaning that for the time being the French Presidency will be limited to six months, something that is still rejected by Paris, which would like to continue to act as co-president for the next two years, like the southern presidency held today by Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt. The creation of a new permanent secretariat to be composed of officials is a second key element of the new institutional architecture. This secretariat will benefit from a separate legal personality with an autonomous status. The objective is to enhance co-owner-

2. European Council of 13/14 March 2008, Presidency Conclusions, Annex I statement on ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’, Brussels, 20 May 2008, 7652/1/08 REV, 3. Commission of the European Communities, Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’, Brussels, 20 May 2008, COM (2008) 319 final.

cover story

ship and to promote a more balanced partnership. The secretariat will have a “strong project focus,” as its major tasks will be to: i. Perform the role of making proposals for joint initiatives and ensure the followup of project-related decisions; iI. Gather project initiatives, examine them, and suggest projects to the EuroMediterranean Committee. The operational costs of the secretariat will be funded on an equal basis by the EU and the Mediterranean partners, whereas the location of the headquarters will be decided by consensus. For the time being, cities like Barcelona, Marseilles, and Tunis are candidates for hosting this new secretariat. A Brussels-based Joint Permanent Committee composed of permanent representatives will also be created in order to: Prepare the meetings of the Senior Officials and Euro-Mediterranean Committee meetings and ensure the appropriate follow up; assist the co-presidencies in the preparation of the Summits and Foreign Affairs and

themed Ministerial meetings; act as a rapid reaction mechanism in crisis situations; According to the concluding points of the Joint Paris Declaration, the new structures should be operational before the end of 2008. The great risk today is a paralysis within the management of the Barcelona Process because of antagonisms between partners (especially between Arab countries and Israel). Since July 2008, and as far as we know, the new co-presidency system has generated considerable problems. Egypt is not used to acting as the president of such a huge number of countries (including Monaco, Croatia, Israel, and Turkey). Some partners are also opposed to the presence of the Arab League -- an idea promoted by the Egyptian co-presidency -- within the framework of the different Euro-Mediterranean meetings. The situation today is that a number of meetings have been postponed. The third novelty was to adopt concrete multilateral cooperation projects for the

Union for the Mediterranean in order to give more visibility to Euro-Mediterranean relationships. Six projects have been adopted in Paris, namely: i. Removal of pollution of the Mediterranean; ii. Maritime and Land Highways; iii. Civil Protection; iv. Alternative Energies; v. Higher Education and Research, EuroMediterranean University; vi. The Mediterranean Business Development Initiative. Conclusion All in all, the new Union for the Mediterranean adopted in Paris has little to do with the original Sarkozy project, as it has been integrated into the current Barcelona framework. On the other hand, the proposed new architecture could, in the long run, reinforce the sense of ownership required to fully involve the Mediterranean partners in the management of the different actions and projects. However, today, the co-presidency system is disturbing the management of the Barcelona Process, but the definitive articulation between the old institutional structures and the new ones has still to be defined by the Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers meeting to be held next November in Marseilles. The initiative has demonstrated the limits of improvising in EuroMediterranean affairs and at the same time shows the high degree of responsibility of the European Commission, who finally took the French project on board and managed to save its few positive aspects while preserving the “Barcelona acquis.” Dr. Erwan Lannon is a professor at the University of Ghent and at the College of Europe, member of the Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission and senior-associate researcher at the EU Institute for Security Studies (EU ISS), Paris.



Is the challenge worth the effort? Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, began making his mark on the international scene before his country assumed the mantle of the European Union’s presidency in July 2008. During his campaign to become president of his country in early 2007, Sarkozy began promoting the concept of a Union Mediterranéene, which would bring the countries on the Mediterranean’s two shores closer together. Although his idea was widely criticized for its lack of clearly defined objectives, it nevertheless became the subject of significant debate and negotiation, culminating in the European Council’s decision to approve the principle of a Union for the Mediterranean (UMED) which would include the member states of the European Union and the non-EU Mediterranean coastal states in March 2008, and the panegyrical Euro-Med Summit, which took place in Paris on July 13, 2008. As a consequence, the debate on EuroMediterranean relations has been relaunched in an area representing a partnership of 39 governments and 700 million people, which is of vital strategic importance to the EU in both political and economic terms. This in itself suggests that much has to be done to engage the countries of the South that feel that the Barcelona

By Dimitrios Triantaphyllou

Process which regulates their relations with their European counterparts is designed more to promote and defend the interests of the European states and the union rather than those of the South. Their concerns are valid to a certain extent -- when the Barcelona Process began in November 1995, the EU comprised 15 member states; today it numbers 27 countries with greater economic weight and greater cohesion in its foreign policy mechanisms. Nevertheless, the Barcelona Process remains the only forum in which all Mediterranean partners engage in a constructive dialogue, be it political or socioeconomic. The Paris Summit for the Union of the Mediterranean intended in part to address southern anxieties through the upgrading of relations between the two sides, by means of greater interaction at the political level of the EU’s relationship with its Mediterranean partners. Other concerns include increased co-ownership and the conception and implementation of concrete projects at the regional and sub-regional levels. While the upgrading of political interaction between the two sides sounds more like talk than substance, the ownership dimension and the projects are a qualitative leap in Euro-Med relations. Co-ownership has been

a constant call by all of the EU’s neighbors -in southeastern Europe, for example, the coownership of the stabilization and association process is represented by the Regional Cooperation Council, which, building upon the work of the Stability Pact, has as of spring 2008 established its headquarters in Sarajevo with a Croatian coordinator. For the Mediterranean, co-ownership comes in the form of a co-presidency where one of the co-presidents is from the EU and the other from the Mediterranean partner countries, as well as the establishment of a joint Permanent Committee of permanent representatives from the respective missions in Brussels; which would be steered by the representatives of the co-presidencies. Also a joint-secretariat composed of officials seconded from participants in the process has been created. Thus, in terms of institutional governance, the Union for the Mediterranean should minimize some of the criticism from the South. With regard to projects, the aim is to focus on sustainable development, regional and sub-regional integration, cohesion, and interconnections with the participation and financing of the private sector. A public debate has already been launched for projects on the pollution of the marine environment, the mo-

cover story

torways of the sea, solar energy, education, and the development of small and mediumsize enterprises (SMEs), for example. What does all this activity mean for the wider region and the European Union? A rediscovery of the Mediterranean with its myriad of problems and opportunities, many of which have extra-regional dimensions, such as illegal migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe via North Africa, the effects of radical Islam on the autocratic governments of the South, the development of the South in order to curb the brain drain, etc. The high-level momentum is welcome, although it remains to be seen whether it is durable. The role and place of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), an EU policy, although implemented as recently as 2004, is to be accounted for, given the fact that it is the driving force of reform and financial cooperation along the EU’s southern periphery at a bilateral level. UMED should not lead to the abandonment of the ENP and its set of incentives for political reform in the South. The perception of inequality between North and South is bound to increase albeit the institutional reforms in the direction of co-ownership. The European Union is too big, powerful, and dynamic -- despite its inability to ratify and implement the Lisbon Treaty -- to remain static without future enlargement, new foreign policy instruments, and the like. As a result, the South will again demand more input, with obvious consequences for UMED. The Union for the Mediterranean has created its own set of challenges within



the Union with countries, with external frontiers to the East demanding an EU policy of their own to regulate the EU’s relations with its eastern neighbors (including Russia). The “Eastern Partnership” project sponsored by Poland and Sweden among others is one such example, with immediate impact on EURussia relations -- an issue that bitterly divides EU member states. Finally, it remains to be seen which private sector stakeholders will participate in the UMED projects. There is already much suspicion that France and the other big EU Mediterranean states will promote their national industry giants to the detriment of their counterparts from smaller EU member states. Concerns and challenges aside, UMED has brought new excitement to the Mediterranean and raises the hope that some of the longstanding conflicts of the region that have eluded resolution might be managed over time, while simultaneously consolidating concrete cooperation between North and South. Managing the expectations raised by the process is a test in itself. Is the effort is worth the challenge? Time will tell. Dr. Dimitrios Triantafyllou is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Department of Mediterranean Studies of the University of the Aegean, Rhodes, and Director General of the International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS), Athens.

By Jean-François Coustillière

a new Bui lding idea On the 13th of July 2008, in Paris, a summit of the heads of state and of the European and Mediterranean governments, organized by the President of the French Republic, endorsed the launching of an initiative labelled “The Barcelona Process: a Union for the Mediterranean”. While the form this initiative is going to take and the manner of its eventual implementation are gradually taking shape, it would be useful, before analyzing the content of the Declaration of the 13th July and then envisaging what we may expect from this new step that has been taken, to recall its genesis. “The Barcelona Process: a Union for the Mediterranean” The signature of a document constituting the foundation act of the UfM concluded the summit of the 13th of July 2008, in Paris. This act was the culmination of a long period of negotiations aiming at introducing this new initiative, designed for the benefit of the Mediterranean region. The debate had started 18 months earlier, in February 2007, following a speech delivered by the then presidential candidate Sarkozy, who proposed, on the face of the clash of civilizations, the globalization and the failure of the Barcelona Process (BP), that France should take the initiative, along with Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus, to

form a Mediterranean Union, encompassing the countries around the Mediterranean. “The aim of this Union would be to work closely with the European Union” and it would be called upon to work on the prospect of further developing the relations between the EU and Turkey, of achieving peace in the Middle East, of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, of better handling the immigration problem, of the ecology, of the de-pollution of the Mediterranean, of fostering co-development and so-on. The speeches delivered by President Sarkozy to the foreign ambassadors in August 2007, in Tangiers in October 2007, and the Rome Call in the company of the Spanish and Italian heads of government in December 2007 have resulted in significant developments. The Rome Call The Rome Call Obliges UfM to approach any given matter on the basis of concrete plans; determines that the object of this initiative is not to replace earlier ones; confirms that the BP and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) will remain central in the partnership between the EU as a whole and its partners in the Mediterranean; foretells that this project will be discussed between those bordering the Mediterranean and the members of the EU; underlines that it will not interfere either

in the process of stabilization and association of the countries concerned or in the process of the current negotiations between the EU and Croatia on the one hand, and between the EU and Turkey on the other. This last declaration, in which appeared a semantics slip in the calling of a “Union for the Mediterranean” instead of “Mediterranean Union”, caused a strong tension between France and Germany which did not end until the European Council on March 14th 2008 in Brussels. The conclusions of this Council approved the fact that the UfM included not only the member-states of the EU but also the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. The Annexe no. 1of these conclusions charges the Commission to present to the Council the necessary proposals for defining the modalities of the UfM, in view of the summit to be held in Paris on the 13th July. The Declaration of the 13th July 2008 on the UfM On the 13th July, the summit in which the UfM was founded and which President Sarkozy had convened in Paris, was a great success on the diplomatic level: 43 countries participated in the session. The absence however of the Libyan leader and of the King of Morocco should be noted, while, on the other hand, the presence of the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bachar Al-Assad, of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel Ehoud Olmert and of the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas was remarkable in itself. The final declaration comprises all the Member-States of EU (27), the European Commission, together with the other States (partners or observers) of the BP (12). The initiative welcomes also Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Monaco and Montenegro. The UfM is defined as a reinforced partnership of the BP, the privileged orientations of which aim at enhancing multilateral coop-

cover story

eration and the sharing of BP’s responsibilities, building on the acquis of Barcelona and reinforcing its achievements. The interest in co-operations adapted to circumstances is underlined. The declaration provides that: firstly, the bi-annual summit meetings should take place alternately in the EU and in Mediterranean partner countries. Secondly, the EuroMediterranean Parliamentary Assembly will be the legitimate parliamentary expression of the UfM. Thirdly, the institutional governance rests on a co-presidency between one EU country and one partner country, and lastly a joint Secretariat for the UfM will be established, the mandate of which will be of a technical nature, while the political mandate will remain the responsibility of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BP. The institutions of the BP will remain unchanged even if a Joint Permanent Committee is created in Brussels to assist and prepare the meetings of the Senior Officials. The modalities of the institutional set-up of the initiative should be fully operational before the end of 2008. The Annex to the Declaration defines the guidelines given, as a first stage, for a number of key initiatives: De-pollution of the Mediterranean Maritime and Land Highways, Civil Protection, Alternative Energies: Solar Plan Higher Education and Research, Business Development While the success of this summit is indisputable, it would be useful however to probe deeply into its content. It is certain that the



ic actions by the volunteer countries, will become a school in real partnership and a producer of confidence. The objectives of the BP remain pertinent, only the method of their implementation had been in question. The UfM offers a way to correct this. The examples of security 5+5 show that this way is, without doubt, quite profitable. uncertainties which marked the development of the initiative from its beginning did not favour a calm and constructive international debate. There remains a certain ambiguity, because, if in the eyes of the Commission the UfM project constitutes now a new tool for the BP, destined1 to enhance multilateral relations, develop a real partnership and give it greater visibility, it is not certain that the way France perceives the matter would be altogether identical. Into the Future Therefore, the next determining meeting is the one of the Foreign Ministers, scheduled for November 2008, which is charged with forming the proposals for the institutional modalities of the project’s implementation. Today, while waiting for this meeting to take place, we may anyway declare that the project of a Mediterranean Union has brought again the Mediterranean to the forefront of the international scene; that the EU, profiting from the BP, is showing a real dynamic in reactivating a great number of files that had somehow been left dormant (water, pollution, sustainable energy etc.); that the Europeans have adopted the UfM project, even largely replacing France; that all the partners are discovering the usefulness and the efficiency of specific actions for the advancement of the BP. There is no doubt that the UfM will function as a tool of the BP which, through specif1. “The bet of a new initiative consists in consolidating the multilateral relations, in developing the sharing of responsibilities in the whole process and in rendering the latter clearer to the citizens. The moment to imbue the Barcelona Process with a new impetus has come.” – in a “non-paper”, Commission.

Conclusion In this perspective, it seems that the project had an extremely favourable impact on the further development of the BP. In 2005, this impetus was expected to materialize, but it did not mainly because of the attitude of the European countries, which were hesitating to invest for the benefit of the Mediterranean. The UfM somehow forced their hand. It is an excellent thing and now it is worth it to foster the movement. Between the Treaty of Rome and the present, 51 years were needed in order to form the European Union, as we know it today. Though this project is not much less ambitious, it would be quite presumptuous to make forecasts on what the UfM will have become in ten years time. The UfM is a new beginning. Yet, already clouds are gathering over the UfM: the reticence of the Arab-Moslem countries towards the presence of Israel; the concurrence with the new initiative for the East, launched last May by Poland and Sweden; the absence of a spirit of genuine partnership in the preparation of this effort which makes the South express the same criticisms that were addressed to the BP. Jean-François Coustillière is Vice-Admiral (2S), Independent Consultant and President of the Association “Horizons Mediterranée”, France.

Euromed 2010:

Evaluation and Challenges Without a doubt, 2010 will be the key moment to evaluate the work done within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. Since the first Euro-Mediterranean Summit, which gave birth to the Barcelona Declaration in 1995, fifteen years will have passed. Fifteen years in which three main objectives will have been pursued: the establishment of a zone of peace and stability, the creation of an area of shared economic prosperity, and the promotion of mutual understanding in order to create a sense of a Euro-Mediterranean community. We are at a moment of assessment and new orientations. The Mediterranean Union, launched by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, gave way on 13 July 2008 to the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean. Therefore, the partnership has continuity, and is gathering momentum. Thus, 2010 will be the time to look back and evaluate the path taken: fifteen years of EMP and seven years of European Neighbourhood Policy. Economic Challenges The gradual establishment of a EuroMediterranean free trade zone was meant to have been completed in 2010, and was to establish the largest market in the world, with 600 million inhabitants. Tunisia however, is thus far, the only country that in January 2008 had entered the free trade zone with Europe after twelve years of gradually dismantling tariffs (Morocco will complete its transitional period in 2012). Therefore, 2010, after two years of implementation (2008-

By Ainara GďŹ mez and Julia Anglès

2010), will be a good moment to assess the socio-economic impact of the entry of Tunisia into the free trade zone with Europe. South-South cooperation, a prior step towards the creation of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade zone for the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs), could be defined as a great disappointment. In this regard, the Agadir Agreement (signed in 2004 and ratified in 2006), which aims to establish an Arab free trade zone between Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan and Egypt, came into force in 2007. A year after its start-up, no evaluations can be made -- although it is remarkable that current exchanges between the four signatory countries only represent 1% of their total trade. South-South economic integration has not yet borne fruit, nor has the other economic pillar of the EMP, which aimed at reducing the gap between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean and creating an area of shared prosperity, be-

come reality. Nevertheless, the progress in Tunisia is noteworthy. It has reduced by 30% the gap between its GDP and the average GDP of the European Monetary Union countries and Morocco, which has recently become a neighbour of the EU advanced status (the strengthened relations between the EU and Morocco were consolidated in Brussels on 13 October 2008). In addition to the partnership challenges (to strengthen South-South relations and to reduce the economic gap between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean) the MPCs will face four future challenges: unemployment, investment mobilization, improvement of training quality, and the environment. In the first place, southern and eastern Mediterranean countries will be forced to face rising unemployment as their population is expected to continue growing until 2025. In order to absorb the labor demand, 20 million jobs should be created. The second challenge focuses on the need to mobilize investments of 250 million euros in 10 to 15 years. For that purpose, some experts opt for the crucial role that must be played by the private sector to stimulate economic growth, whereas other experts believe that the leverage effect to mobilize private resources cannot occur without the mobilization of public resources. Another key challenge is

cover story

the adequacy of workers training for the labor market. Finally, the fragile environmental situation of the Mediterranean Sea, which contains one third of world maritime traffic, is remarkable. Together with water management, it is absolutely necessary to deal with climate change and pollution. The Need to Activate a New Decentralized Methodology in the New Financial Instruments As a result of the discussion about which element would allow a leverage effect on the economies of the southern Mediterranean, the logic of European integration (compared to that of cooperation) is taken into consideration. The former MEDA funds and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) do not seem to match the great challenges of the Mediterranean. Thus, some experts suggest creating a new financial instrument, in the image and likeness of the EU Structural Funds. It would be possible



to address the economic reforms more effectively with a significant injection of money (200 euros/capita/year compared to 5 euros/capita/year of current MEDA countries). It is worth mentioning the innovative role that the ENPI could play, using the methodology of Structural Funds in cross-border cooperation projects. However, this methodology has not yet been launched. The Policy Challenges Can there be economic integration without democracy? There is no example to allow an affirmative answer to this question. The main obstacle to political reform is the dilemma between democracy and change versus stability and maintaining the status quo. The EU has not implemented the political conditionality clause included in the partnership agreement; therefore, we could conclude that the EU would give priority to the political stability of its neighbours before an eventual Islamist destabilization. Moreover, as with the debate on economic reforms, a question arises: what factors could provide the incentive for democratisation of the southern and eastern Mediterranean? In this respect, there are a

great variety of alternatives. On the one hand, there is a process of decentralization and strengthening of regional institutions, providing them with real financial autonomy that could be the beginning of a process of democratisation at a national level and, on the other, democracy is not based only on the holding of free elections. In fact, a democratic system requires a strengthened rule of law. Hence the progress in political reforms can occur gradually in areas such as the fight against corruption and torture. Using positive conditionality, the EU could share advances in this direction for more funds to finance the reforms implemented in countries eager to begin a process of democratisation. Finally, other measures to encourage political reform include local administration twinning, from the North and South of the Mediterranean, and the TAIEX instrument (for technical assistance and information exchange). This would facilitate the exchange of good practices and would encourage learning in the administrations. Ainara GďŹ mez and Julia AnglĂŠs are Research Fellows at the Institut Europeu de la Mediterrania (IEMed),

Towards the real Euromed revival By J.P. Robert Vandenbegine and Nathalie Janne d’Othée

Thirteen years after Barcelona, the Euromed process is now back on the rails. The situation is full of hope, but also of challenges and difficulties to overcome. Barcelona has failed, and nothing says that the Union for the Mediterranean is now the right answer. Yet it seems to address some of the problems of the old Euromed shape. The new approach should increase the role of Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean partners. The co-chairmanship and the secretariat are intended to raise the position of the Mediterranean partners, and that’s undoubtedly a condition to real partnership. Future projects will also be conceived in a more concrete way, which will make the Euromed process more visible to our societies. But as we said first, the new Union for the Mediterranean will have to face a certain number of difficulties. One of the vaguest aspects of the new process is its funding. Those who imagined the new shape of the Euromed process aren’t very explicit on this topic. Only one thing seems to be clear: There won’t be more European

funds accorded to the Euromed projects. The EU will continue to contribute to the process at the same participation rate as it did. For the second occurrence of the “Midis de la Méditerranée” (Midday of the Mediterranean), MEDEA invited Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB), who spoke about the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). Although the very active role of this instrument, it cannot endorse the funding of all the Euro-Mediterranean projects. The growing participation of the private sector has been emphasized by thinkers of the Union for the Mediterranean. Private funding is requested and will be encouraged. But one should not forget that the Mediterranean region is still perceived as poorly attractive to private investors. FEMIP is now working to empower the private sector, but the results won’t be felt before a long time, and this is even more the case in the current economic crisis climate. Though, private equity is defi-

nitely an important growth driver in the Mediterranean economic expansion, strengthening partnerships, promoting innovation, boosting local entrepreneurship, and leading to a higher regional integration. The major challenges Euromed partners are now facing are dispute resolution, liberalization of services and investment, and removal of non-tariff barriers to trade to facilitate access to the EU market by approximating technical legislation. Another important funding source for the new Euromed projects is Gulf investment. The Gulf is willing to invest its petrodollars and is thus naturally regarded as a possible solution to finance Euromed projects. Strangely, even if they are often quoted as such, nobody seems to have asked them their advice on the subject.

cover story

What can be their interest in such an investment, what will be the return? What is the added value for them to invest in Euromed projects? Nobody seems to have addressed those questions. The MEDEA Institute is planning to organize a conference on this topic, to try to shed a light on it. The MEDEA Institute has a very important role to play in the actual Mediterranean context. Motivations are high, but it seems that they could drop very quickly if nothing happens. We must not lobby by the European institutions to make them continue their effort in the Mediterranean. We have to activate our partnerships in the civil society in the South and East Mediterranean to push the governments of the South to action. We should finally increase awareness among the Mediterranean societies by informing them. MEDEA has many resources at its disposal to reach these objectives. The Web site contains more than 1,800 information sheets in both French and English, confer-



ence notes, a weekly press review, and editorials on Mediterranean topics. It counts a large number of visitors every day and is therefore a perfect information tool. Secondly, MEDEA disposes of a broad network of people working and thinking at its disposal. MEDEA finally offers an external consultancy service to media and other associations if needed. MEDEA is also organizing many events on Mediterranean topics. Occurring on a monthly basis, the “Midis de la Méditerranée” (Midday’s of the Mediterranean) are intended to inform, but also to create in the European community based in Brussels a network of people interested in Mediterranean topics who will then reinforce the Mediterranean lobby by the EU Institutions. Aside those “lunch debates,” conferences and seminars are planned on

the area’s hot topics, such as Gulf investment in the Mediterranean, the geopolitical and strategic landscape in the Middle East following the new American presidency, and the role for the EU in the interreligious dialogue. As stressed by Philippe de Fontaine Vive, the Mediterranean is not yet considered an area on the global level. Enjoying a central and unique position near the European institutions, the MEDEA Institute has a very important role to play in keeping the decision-makers conscious of the importance of Europe’s Mediterranean neighbors. Thirteen years after the Barcelona process, the Union for the Mediterranean initiated by French President Sarkozy is giving the region a new soul. It is left to us now to push this new trend forward and to launch new cooperation trails in order to build a strong EuroMediterranean region and to make it a world’s real actor. J.P. Robert Vandenbegine is Secretary General and Nathalie Janne d’Othée is Research assistant at the Institut Européen de Recherche sur la Coopération Méditerranéenne et Euro-Arabe (MEDEA).

Think-Med The European Union’s July Declaration for a “Union for the Mediterranean” has brought the Mediterranean again to the forefront, despite the fact that Sarkozy’s initiative initially raised several issues concerning its ability to add value to the existing framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). Creating a number of opportunities for active involvement of the private sector and civil society, the revised, project-based Barcelona Process seems to be a more effective tool for the promotion of integration of Europe’s wider neighborhood and the establishment of a stable and secure regional environment, in times when the international order appears to be in a state of flux. Today’s security challenges are no longer perceived in the Cold War-type sense. Contemporary threats have a direct impact on citizens’ lives. Regional conflicts and economic disparities, climate change, shortage of energy resources, drug trafficking, crimes that cross borders, terrorism, etc., make regional cooperation an urgent necessity. At the same time, the Mediterranean, due to its geography and its lack of homogeneity, incubates dangers that could lead to political and socioeconomic crises.

The states in the region vary in terms of how far they have transitioned to liberal democracies and market economies, and have different priorities and stakeholders. In addition, the colonial background of those in the southern and eastern shores and inherited misconceptions of both of Europeans and Arabs reveal the need for raising awareness and increasing contact among citizens. In this sense, multilateral cooperation in the Mediterranean should not be confined to the development of bilateral inter-state relations based on short-term interests. Regional cooperation should move forward to the establishment of a “cooperative” culture and to the active involvement of all the stakeholders in the Mediterranean along the lines of commonly agreed norms and values negotiated with respect to cultural diversity. Indeed, the novelty of the EMP since its inception can be traced in its “human dimension,” as Dimitris Xenakis argues. Reaching the grassroots level and addressing the cultural specificities of the distinct European and neighboring societies are the quests of contemporary European politics. Towards this goal, the challenge is twofold: The route passes on the one hand from the networks of civil society organizations destined to promote intercultural dialogue, and on the other hand, from the think tanks and research centers dealing with European and Euro-Mediterranean affairs, which function

by Eleni Fotiou

both as a confidence-building measure and as instigators of innovative ideas in the policy planning process. To date, the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures has to be accredited with the accomplishments of the third pillar of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The foundation, composed of the national networks of civil society organizations boosts the “human dimension” of the EMP and the intercultural and inter-religious dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean area by promoting cooperation and exchanges among civil society actors. Meanwhile, the progress made in the field of research conducted by the think tank community has not yet borne visible results. Two structures already exist, but their visibility and leverage have to be supported: the EuroMeSCo network, assigned to provide the EU bodies and all relevant stakeholders in the Mediterranean process with proposals dealing with policy and security issues, and the FEMISE network, entrusted with the task of research in the field of economic growth, trade, and development. Today’s vigorous atmosphere in the Mediterranean Basin requires innovative ideas and greater vision from the think-tank community. There is ample space for policy-

cover story

oriented research on the effectiveness of the monitoring mechanisms and the decisionmaking institutions of the EMP, on the planning of policies to avoid overlap between the new projects, on the designing of confidence building measures, as well as on the development of strategies that will render the financial instruments and procedures more comprehensible to the wider public. Research on the progress made in each one of the EMP pillars (political/security, economic, and cultural) should continue, because the study of the achievements and the shortcomings of the process, especially in light of the private sector’s involvement, as well as the observation of the changes in the EU institutions’ and member-states’ Euro-Mediterranean policy will contribute to a more inclusive evaluation of the course. In-depth research should also focus on several other issues that have not yet been subject to thorough examination, such as the transfer of know-how in the field of science, technology and research and the very important issue of food security, on which CIHEAM’s work should be mentioned. Moreover, the Mediterranean can be divided into four subsystems: the EU, southeastern Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), whose actors have different motives and concerns in the wider re-



gion. As Ferdinando Riccardi has argued several times in the Bulletin Agence Europe, the non-EU Mediterranean partners favor bilateral relations with the European Union; they have their eyes on the economic benefits and display no interest in any kind of horizontal cooperation. Their stakes, as well as the stakes of external actors, whose role - especially in MENA -- intensifies the lack of the sense of ownership in the region, should be the topic of a separate analysis. In the same context, it is essential to segue into the analysis of the conflicts from a regional perspective, the religious dimension, and the relation between Islam and Europe. A more comprehensive approach of security issues would include the socio-economic and the cultural aspects, energy, demography, immigration, employment, and phenomena such as racism and xenophobia. Furthermore, drawing up a list of the norms and values that are perceived to be de facto binding on behalf of the EuroMediterranean partners could serve as a tool for the establishment of a minimum modus operandi and as a step towards the goal of “transforming the Mediterranean into a sea of security, stability and prosperity.” Apart from research and innovative ideas, the think tank community could con-

tribute to the transfer of know-how in the establishment of relevant policy-oriented research centers to the non-EU partners of the EMP. In addition, setting up sub-regional specific networks, i.e. a network of think tanks supportive of the informal process of the Olive Group -- which comprises the 10 EU Mediterranean partners that share similar problems -- may lead to a more effective coordination of the research products. Last but not least, the think tank community and its networks should undertake action for raising citizens’ awareness and stimulating their mobilization in line with the goals and the added value of the “Union for the Mediterranean” as well as the importance of the region, both as a political and economic system, and as a focal point of the world’s cultural heritage. Eleni Fotiou is a research fellow and Program Manager of the Euro-Mediterranean Watch at the Hellenic Center for European Studies (EKEM).

Although the Euro-Mediterranean process has made achievements, its results should have been more conclusive. Now, a new chapter has been opened with the Union for the Mediterranean. However in both cases, there seems to be a lack of in-depth reflection regarding the intense relationship between culture and policy that has marked the gradual distancing between some societies and others. If there is no active awareness of the need to change these relations, the new projects of the Union for the Mediterranean will continue to fall short of the success they seek. A subject often raised and defended is the need to promote “intercultural dialogue.” The first response to this would have to be that cultures do not talk; individuals do. This slogan of a “dialogue of cultures,” repeated again and again, evokes the relationship between the Western world and that of Islam, and it packs an ideological charge indicating to what extent, consciously or unconsciously, we have recreated a relationship based on “us” versus “them.” A reductionist, monolithic image of “us” and “them” (the two “cultures”) has been interiorized, as if it were a matter of two closed and unconnected universes where millions of human beings are divided into “Westerners” and “Muslims,” each side representing a total cultural uniformity, alien when not antagonistic to the other. Such a radically binary vision leads to a hierarchical idea of superiority and inferiority. This is why, in a best-case scenario, it advo-

De-demonising Divisions By Gema Martin Munoz

cates “tolerance,” a term freighted with paternalist connotations. This concept of “cultures,” applied to the relationship between “us” and the Muslim world, is the result of a Western process of elaboration in which “Islam” has been interpreted fictitiously as an ideological label and as a dominant and comprehensive force that determines and uniformizes the behavior and cultural definition of a very important part of humankind. All of them are One, ignoring the wide variety of lifestyles, the diversity of countries, histories, and cultures found in an immense geographic swath spread across Africa and Asia (in addition to the millions of Muslims who live and were born in Western countries). A consequence of the fact that the Middle East’s conflicts play a central role in the media worldwide, and of the interest that certain local and international actors have in demonizing the world of Islam, this portrait of an Islamic One that represents All is dominated by such traits as fanaticism, fundamentalism, exacerbated hatred, and irrationality. In other words, instead of relating with real cultures and a real religion, we think that we have to deal with a pathological deformation called “Islam” and “Muslims.” The combination of hostility and reductionism that feeds this recreated image of a threatening, reactionary, and violent Homo Islamicus makes it the

subject of both therapeutic and punitive attention, thus paving the way for imperialist and colonial enterprises in this major part of the world. In approaching this monolithic culture that the Western social majority believes represents the Muslim peoples, there is also an abuse of the concept of decadence. It is taken as a given -- with a complete absence of knowledge, proof, or line of argument -that these people are experiencing a prolonged decadence which has kept them in the past and sidelined them as the world moved on. Without denying the shortcomings of the Arab and Muslim world, which come from economic underdevelopment and clan monopolies on power (also suffered in other parts of the world), this important part of the planet has not stopped participating in the evolutionary process of history and has accomplished achievements, modernizing transformations, and a creative dynamic of philosophical, cultural, intellectual, and artistic contributions. The problem is that we are not aware of them, because there is a strong resistance to integrating the Arab and Islamic cultural field into the international scene. On the contrary, the “phenomenon of decadence” forms part of the essentialist,

cover story

determinist package that we have put “them” into, which we only use in a comparativist sense of superiority/inferiority, with regard to “our” culture, imposed as the universal model. It should not be difficult to imagine the feeling of anguish that any Arab Muslim feels in the face of such implacable insistence on presenting their faith, culture, and identity as inherent sources of decadence, terrorism, violence, and fundamentalism. And to see how the imaginary culturalist confrontation that stems from these representations dilutes or obscures the West’s real provocations of Arabs and Muslims, the true cause of the worsening of relations between both worlds. In the Arab and Muslim world, there is a widespread feeling of frustration, as well, according to the definition of Lebanese writer Samir Kassir, as a deep-seated feeling of misfortune. Without underestimating their effects, these feelings stem not only from the experience of underdevelopment, but also from the historical experience of impotence and dispossession. In reality, the end of the colonial era in the greater Middle East did not end European imperialism. On the contrary, these territories and their peoples continued to suffer, right up to the present day, from the power strategies that their geographic situation constantly attracts. Moreover, the special context in which this frustration has taken root must also be considered. Arab-Muslim populations are mostly urban, and their vast new generation of young people has had mass access to education, so we are dealing with societies in which a substantial proportion is highly politicized. In addition, they have a keenly accentuated collective memory of belonging to a certain part of the world (a cradle of great civilizations, a strategic location with high geopolitical value, and the accumulation under their soil of the world’s major



sources of oil and gas) which should give them influence and well-being, but whose benefits have been, for more than a century, completely out of their control. All of these are sociological and psychological factors that aggravate their sense of dispossession. The absolute lack of political efficiency (of the international community and the Arab governments) in the application of international law (UN resolutions, humanitarian and human rights conventions) in this part of the world also contributes to accentu-

ating this culture of despair. And to all of this is added the world of the Others’ gaze and perceptions: the feeling, paraphrasing Kassir, of the impotence to be what one thinks one should be, to reaffirm one’s will to be in the face of the negating, disdainful, dominating Other. The impotence to being able to silence the feeling that one is no more than a disposable piece of the planetary chessboard when, on the contrary, the game is being played on one’s own territory. If history is not redirected with a firm commitment to changing the regional and international policy that dominates the socalled Arab and Islamic world, EuroMediterranean projects will continue to be limited and inconclusive. Gema Martin Munoz is Director General of Casa ãArabe and its International Institute of Arab and Muslim World Studies.


What’s next then In November 2008 Marseilles has hosted the first Euro-Mediterranean Conference after the Paris summit of July. The Paris summit was a significant diplomatic success for Nicolas Sarkozy and supposed a visible confirmation that the initial proposal of the Mediterranean Union had been transformed in a continuation of the traditional Barcelona Process, yet with some innovations. Among them stand out the institutionalisation of regular meetings of heads of state and governments, the creation of a secretariat or the formulation of new kinds of projects which should raise funds from the private sector. All this was confirmed in Marseilles and, despite very harsh negotiations, euro-mediterranean ministers of Foreign Affairs were able to agree on a common declaration and important decisions were taken concerning the structure and location of the new secretariat. The Marseilles decision culminates a transition process in euro-mediterranean relations which started with Sarkozy’s proposals of creating new forms of coopera-

tion engaging only Mediterranean coastal countries in a project-base approach. Such initiative triggered harsh reactions in northern and southern Mediterranean. On the one hand, some objected to marginalising some key EU countries such as Germany or Sweden, the latter having been very active in the Barcelona Process while many warned that such initiative would lead to further incoherence in European Foreign Policy. Due to the pressures of Madrid, Rome and above all Berlin, France was bound to step down from its initial proposals and accepted not to create a new cooperation framework but to introduce the aforementioned novelties in the Barcelona Process. Thus, one can wonder to what extent will this result in a significant improvement of euro-Mediterranean relations in terms of political dialogue, development policies and cultural cooperation? Potentially this could happen if five conditions were fulfilled. First, if we were in front of a serious peace perspective in the Near East. Second, if the European Union was prepared to double or triple the financial assistance towards southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. Third, if the new projects were to appear very attractive to private capital investment.

By Eduard Soler i Lecha

Fourth, if those projects were planned in order to have a direct impact on human development for our southern neighbours. Finally, if the leaders and governments of those countries were ready to leave aside their bilateral quarrels and therefore engage in real and deep political and economic reforms. Unfortunately, these conditions are far from being fulfilled. What’s next then? What can we expect from this new phase in euro-mediterranean relations named Union for the Mediterranean? In the most likely scenario, we will be facing the same outcomes and the same shortcomings of the “old” Barcelona Process. In other words, this process will continue to have the tremendous virtue of bringing Arabs and Israelis to work together, but it will be regularly hampered by the complications inherent in the ArabIsraeli conflict as well. Likewise, it will

cover story

have a clear road map of how to diminish the inequalities between northern and southern Mediterranean countries but insufficient means to achieve those goals. Sadly, most of the discussions previous to the Marseilles meeting were related to issues such as the choice of the city that will host the secretariat, the status of the Arab League and even the very name of the process. However, more substantive issues such as how can democracy and human rights be more efficiently promoted, the opening of the EU market to southern and eastern Mediterranean products, visa facilities or south-south cooperation were not sufficiently tackled. Neither the global economic situation, nor the legitimacy of southern Mediterranean countries regimes in front of their own citizenry favors a more ambitious approach. However, these issues are not only real but burning and will continue to have a direct impact on the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries and also on the broader euro-Mediterranean space. This will not immediately bridge the political and prosperity gap between both rims of the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, instead of precipitating our countries into fatalism and pessimism, this evidence should push our governments and societies to do more and to think in more ambitious terms. If this were no to be the case, the opportunity would be, once more, missed and the expectations created in the last months would not be met. It goes without saying that the former can only be detrimental to the interests of all



peoples of the region. One of the elements of the initial Sarkozy project deserves to be kept in mind: the idea that the future of Europe is very much conditioned by what happens in the Mediterranean. Sarkozy once said that in the Mediterranean, humanity will either embark on the worst war-venture or achieve the best peace scenario. Despite his awkwardness in presenting his initial Mediterranean Union proposal, his claim to act quickly and resolutely to overcome the limits of the current policies is perfectly valid and should inform the actions of euromediterranean leaders in the coming years. Eduard Soler i Lecha is Coordinator of the Mediterranean and Middle East Programme at the CIDOB Foundation, Barcelona.

the food security challenge

Mediterranean diet For political and circumstantial reasons, the linked issues of the Mediterranean and agriculture have come to the forefront of both the strategic and media scenes. On the one hand, the Union for the Mediterranean initiative sparked a real crisis of conscience on the importance of EuroMediterranean cooperation, and it has more recently led to the subject being given its proper place in the European political agenda. At the same time, agriculture has moved to the center stage in international and media terms. Although the sector had rather fallen out of fashion, several factors have been emphasizing the key role of agriculture on a daily basis: the rapid rise in the cost of raw materials, which affects our purchasing power, the growing importance of environmental considerations in our societies, and, finally, the future risk

that food supplies will be outpaced by our planet’s population explosion. Examining the combination of these two current themes, this article attempts to demonstrate why meeting the challenge of food security in the Mediterranean area would represent a strategic path to responsible development in the region. The new Union for the Mediterranean could be the stimulus that is needed to bring out the importance of agriculture and food supplies as a vector of cooperation in the region. Since the aim is to work on projects which are capable at one and the same time of affecting the everyday life of the populations concerned (in a practical demonstration of solidarity) and of dealing with subjects which are at the center of regional concern, the question of food security in both senses of the term (both quantity and quality) should become one of the main issues to be explored in the Euro-Mediterranean context. There are two complementary strategic challenges for secure development in the

By SĂŠbastien Abis

region: to guarantee supplies in a climate of rising agricultural prices, and to optimize food quality in a zone of constantly increasing malnutrition. The objectives are to avoid new food riots, reduce the death rate from poor diets, and try to contain certain problems of public health. It may be useful briefly to remind ourselves why agriculture and food are such key strategic issues in the Mediterranean area. Several things in combination demonstrate why agriculture is a real geopolitical issue in this region:

cover story

Rural development Uneven development of rural areas south of the Mediterranean. A major obstacle in some countries is the stark difference in development between the rural hinterlands (lack of access to clean water, poor education, inadequate health services, and inadequate infrastructure) and the coastal towns which are open to globalization. We need to bear in mind the sheer scale of this divide; it leads at one and the same time to migration, frustration, and new symptoms of radicalization in societies that are split between urban populations increasingly tied in to the standards of modern life (despite the poverty prevalent in the suburbs), and rural populations who are often forgotten by their governments, scratching out a miserable existence unchanged for a century or more.

Demographic trends In 2020, demographic growth will lead to the requirement to feed some 530 million souls in the region, without any noticeable reduction in the rural populations (some 40 percent of the populations concerned in the southern Mediterranean area still live in rural areas). We can also expect dramatic socio-demographic mutations in coastal regions from Agadir to Istanbul. Socioeconomic situation The overall economic situation is that agriculture remains a major factor in Mediterranean countries -- one-third of the active labor force (some 35 million people). Overall agriculture represents more than 10 percent of GDP in these states (Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey), and agricultural products represent an average of between 15 and 25 percent of trade (imports and exports) for the majority of them.



Agricultural trade Agricultural trade is fragile in the area: imports are massive, leading to rising costs -- the bill is rapidly becoming a major burden for Algeria and Egypt, for instance. It is also becoming globalized: The southern and eastern Mediterranean countries now depend on countries outside Europe for some 70 percent of their food imports. The market is subject to constant change, with the rising influence of China, Brazil, Ukraine, Canada, and Australia - and of course the “agricultural� presence of the United States. Environmental challenges A series of ecological and political events linked to the many effects of global warming have particularly affected the Mediterranean. The first signs include an increase in extreme meteorological events, the spread of deserts, growing competition for scarce water resources, and the degradation of the natural environment. These phenomena make more complex the already vulnerable situation of Mediterranean agriculture; it finds itself having to try to square the circle of increased and better-quality production while at the same time trying to conserve natural resources.

Food safety The food situation is cause for grave concern. On the one hand, malnutrition is increasing in line with changing modes of consumption and urbanization; a dramatic corollary is that there has been an explosion in the number of overweight and obese people, with some 20 percent of all children in the Maghreb being currently affected today. On the other hand, product quality is often unsatisfactory, with the cause of half of all deaths south of the Mediterranean being traced to food-related illnesses. These can be due to contaminated water being used for meal preparation, or poorly packed, preserved or stocked products, which do not meet elementary standards of health or hygiene. These food problems should also be seen as part of a wider movement marked by the aggressive commercial strategies of major groups which are now implanted in these emerging markets, without themselves having encouraged much if any growth of national agriculture.

All these realities together make up only a partial picture of the complex and interacting mix of challenges facing Mediterranean agriculture. In a context marked simultaneously by price increases of raw materials leading to a significant rise in the price of basic food-stuffs (bread, meat, milk, vegetables), and by health risks (such as bird influenza, one of whose major problem areas is in Egypt), we need to think more about questions of food security in a zone which already has more than its fair share of crises and tensions. Over the past few months it has been striking how much prominence has once more been given to the question of cereal availability in the Mediterranean region, with a rise in the cost of bread inevitably affecting both consumers and national economies. This situation will lead to turbulence. It must be emphasized that Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco are actually among the world's 10 biggest wheat importers (the three of them alone accounting for 15 percent of the total, but they account for 2 percent of the world population).

Food security: a concrete project for the Mediterranean The Union for the Mediterranean can be thought of as a call for cooperation in this region, focusing on real demonstrations of solidarity and actions, which federate. In this context, the control of food security must be sustained in both senses of the term (quantitatively and qualitatively) as the principal thrust of this initiative. From the quantitative point of view, it is difficult to dissociate the ongoing reform of the EU' s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from the rising cost of raw materials, and therefore the risk of socio-economic turbulence that this implies throughout the Mediterranean region. We need to consider a major overhaul of the CAP mechanism, so as to develop a commercial and territorial approach at the Euro-Mediterranean level. It is not just a question of enlarging the CAP to take in the Mediterranean, but of working out a Euro-Mediterranean agricultural and environmental policy capable of securing the supply of primary agricultural products to the area, while at the same time encouraging competitiveness and sustainability. This goal could be a major, medium-term political project for Europe, and at the same time one which would be a tangible sign of our solidarity with the countries in the Mediterranean space. On the qualitative side, the concept of food security as an objective has two distinct but complementary dimensions. The first is technical: There is an absolute need to improve product hygiene. This means better storage, packing, and transport conditions, and the compulsory adoption of international certification standards. The second is more concerned with eating habits: These

need to be reoriented towards those typical Mediterranean products recognized as being good for health, and towards wide adoption of good dietary practices which become in time a complementary life insurance policy. We need to promote the Mediterranean diet as such, and support quality products. We might even have an overarching appellation for marketing purposes in order to guide consumer choice, and have real public health campaigns to educate tastes, and to get the message across that everything is linked in the long chain which leads from farmer to consumer. Conclusion The Mediterranean’s agricultural and rural problems are multidimensional and EuroMediterranean mobilization is needed to solve them. Agriculture is the basis of Mediterranean identity and decisive for the region’s societies. Convergent action in this sphere could result in close cooperation, mobilizing people and resources on the basis of solidarity, human sympathy, and mutual benefits for both sides of the Mediterranean. SÊbastien Abis is Administrator at the General Secretariat of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Paris. CIHEAM is an intergovernmental organization comprising 13 member countries from the Mediterranean Basin (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, and Turkey), which has come to be recognised as an authority in its fields of activity: Mediterranean agriculture, food, and sustainable rural development (

cover story

Hostage to power play The renaming of the Mediterranean Union as ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean' (UfM) symbolizes the dismantling of Sarkozy's grand project. First outlined in February 2007 in Toulon, a recent commission communication embodies the latest transformation of the idea, and the UfM was officially launched on July 13, under the French Presidency of the EU. Conceived by Sarkozy, the original idea was a vague enunciation of the desire to rebuild France's role in the Middle East and an implicit desire to stave off Turkey's entrance to the EU. Initially, the idea was to be distinguished from the pre-existing Euro-Med Partnership and European Neighborhood Policy, encompassing only the southern states of the EU and the Mediterranean partners. Dogged by the opposition of northern states, who were suspicious of a power block within the EU that would exclude them, the idea was extensively diluted. It is now fully wedded to the EU's machinery, and will, as described by Hans-Gert Pottering “strengthen and further the Barcelona Process.” Encompassing all 27 states as well as other Mediterranean coastal states such as Croatia, the UfM attempts to distill a sense of ownership by urging co-presidencies, shared by a Mediterranean state and a high ranking EU post. Funding will come from existing EU funds, supplemented by independent funding from Mediterranean countries as well as the private sector and observers such as Qatar, thereby hopefully allaying possible resentment by the Eastern partners. The UfM will retain its earlier, project-centered approach, with possible projects including an inter-Maghreb highway, de-pollution strategies and development of solar energy.



By Dana Moss

Doubts persist: A reenergizing of Europe's relationship to the MENA region has been long overdue, and certain aspects of the UfM hold much appeal. The aim of fostering co-ownership and the emphasis on project visibility will correct some of the faults of the BP. Yet doubts persist, revolving around the pre-existing conflicts to derail any achievements, fears of over-bureaucratization and the dearth of governance demands. The Elysees's belief that concrete project-centered cooperation ‘will create solidarity between nations' has been doubted by some. Acrimonious inter-state relations may disrupt the simplest functions of the UfM. For example, the post of Presidency requires consensus, so should Syria wish to assume that position, how would Syrian-Israeli relations be managed? Similar stumbling blocks may arise as a result of Algerian-Moroccan tensions. It is also uncertain that real cooperation will emerge as a side-effect of such projects when core issues are not dealt with. An interMaghreb highway as championed by the Maghreb Union will not lead to true integration unless headway is made in resolving the Western Sahara crisis. The expanded version of the Union is an-

other worry, as the involvement of all 27 EU states may lead, as one commentator noted to “too many meetings, with too many participants that achieve too little.” Such concerns compound fears of an expansion of an already overly cumbersome European system. Furthermore, whilst the Commission document specified that the UfM will ‘complement' preexisting instruments, extreme care must be taken in overseeing the linkage, so that duplication is avoided. Another criticism is the lack of detail on how the UfM will link up with the EU's political reform basket. However, from this deficit may originate a greater sense of ownership among Southern partners, long resentful of the EU's demands for reform. Yet to achieve the UfM's stated goal of ‘employment creation' special care must be taken to balance the UfM in the EU's bilateral relations with its neighbors. Without twinning economic reform to political adjustments, economic advantages gained through the program may continue to primarily benefit groups close to the political elite, as opposed to Middle Eastern population as a whole. Aside from these flaws, the project does hold promise for the region. It is unclear whether, once the French Presidency ends, there will be the same enthusiasm in the EU to bolster the Union. So far the UfM has become a hostage to European power play and it would be a real shame if this continues, as reform of EU-Middle East relations is long overdue. Dana Moss is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels.

Mustafa "It was a winter night in 1881. The storm was howling over Thessalonica. Everyone was trying to get warm in his 'yatak' and Kyra-Thodora, a well built Turkish-Rum midwife whom her fellow inhabitants in the city knew for her unique abilities (she had the reputation of a zero death rate in births that she took care of), is about to go to bed. Suddenly, loud knocks on the door are heard and she rushes to the door where she comes across the blushed face of a girl servant working at the house of the forty year old customs officer Ali Riza and his twenty year old wife Zubeide. - Rush, mami (midwife), rush, says the servant. My lady has started getting the birth pains! In the tall three-storey house in Islahane mahale where they arrive shortly afterwards, all the lights are on. Kyra-Thodora will do whatever she can to help the young woman with the birth. A little while later she holds in her hands a rosy-pink, blond-haired little boy. As the good hearted midwife tightens up the oda of the "lohusa" (woman who just gave birth), sprinkles fine salt on the baby for antiseptic purposes, wraps him tenderly with warm clothing and whispers magical spells for good fortune, she unknowingly becomes the godmother of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk,

of Thessalonica By Ariana Ferentinou

the "Father of Turks." When the white envelope containing the book of the veteran journalist Christos K. Christodoulou arrived at my home address in Istanbul, a few months ago, I did not know that it was going to be such a rich source of first hand information about the first years in the life of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, that uniquely powerful leader who has dominated the history of modern Turkey, and to some extent of contemporary Greece. Yet the recent Turkish film "Mustafa" and the expected new Greek film "Zozo" about the documented love affair between Kemal Ataturk and the Greek operetta singer and actress Zozo Dalmas, makes the book by this Salonician journalist of the "Macedonia" newspaper and TV producer, all the more fascinating. For example, I do not know how widely known it is to the Turkish audience that the Ataturk's neighborhood, Islahane, in 1906 had "442 houses, 22 shops, 17 empty plots of land, six fountains, three bakeries, one storehouse and two coffee shops," as the author states, quoting from Prof. Dimitriadis's major work, "The topography of

Thessalonica during the Turkish rule, 14301912". Or that Mustafa Kemal's love for yogurt, tahini, salep, pekmez, omelets and cheese, comes from his days in Langada outside Thessalonica where in a farm belonging to his uncle, he and his sister were given the task "to scare away the crows who were attacking the broad bean fields, to supervise the herds of sheep, to milk cows and to plough." What is interesting in this book is that the author, who worked for twenty five years, from 1978-2003 as a producer for the public television channel in Thessalonica, had the opportunity to come across and sometimes interview some of the last living citizens of Thessalonica who gave a first hand account of this fascinating period at the turn of the last century. Quoting old chroniclers like Georgios Stamboulis who wrote about "Life of the Thessalonicans be-


fore and after 1912," Christodoulou writes that "Kemal frequented the coffee shop 'Proodos' (Progress) belonging to Dimitris Sarayiotis, opposite the White Tower. Also, the coffee shop 'Tumba' in the Sindrivani area. He used to be a passionate billiard player in the 'Parthenon' belonging to Petros Nedos in Hamidie Avenue (Queen Olga Avenue today), and used to drink his raki at Nahmia's place, on the seaside road, where he used to play billards-bacikoto." The story becomes even more interesting later on. "Among his co-players there was a Greek, a Kleomenis Hatzinicolaou, who was still alive, almost a centenarian during the 80s in Thessalonica, and remembered his friend Mustafa, "with whom they were playing 'batska billards' and then they used to dance and sing with a group of friends on the quayside." And later on, another interesting piece of information: "Thanks to the reform measures applied temporarily by Young Turks in favor of the minorities in the Ottoman Empire, Mr. Hatzinicolaou set up in 1908, a Greek cultural-dancing association, at the inauguration of which 'friend Mustafa' was also present." My beloved high school teacher and



now professor of contemporary Greek History Vassilis Kremydas, speaking recently on a TV portrait about him, said that "history is useful because it makes us understand the present. But history is a science and has to use all available tools in order to compile a complete picture of the past." The recently heated up discussion prompted by the film on the life of the founder of modern Turkey, has fueled another confrontation conducted between the sworn friends and enemies of Kemal Ataturk. But maybe this may an opportunity for taking advantage of what modern scientific methods provide us with; a more objective light on that important period in

Turkish history. And that period of history, whether we like it or not, is tightly connected with Greece. Should this not, then, be an opportunity for the historians and chroniclers of our countries to maintain a taboofree and contemporary thinking cooperation in order to give more depth to our past and give more meaning to our present?


A turning point in relations By Mehmet Ali Birand

The progress report, as a mirror reflecting relations between Turkey and the European Community, has shown us the breaking point: 2009 will be a turning point. I’m sure you noticed. We are facing a situation that looks like Turkish and EU authorities have agreed to do their best to slow down the negotiations. Whenever our prime minister meets EU authorities and whenever our foreign minister meets with EU ministers there is always the same complaint. "The European Community treats Turkey differently. It exhibits an extremely slow approach." Ankara is very uncomfortable. Attention has been drawn to the Commission slowly scanning paragraphs to be added soon. The inadequacy of the new negotiation topics and constantly appearing political barriers frankly disincline Turkey. Turkey, stating this case, says that Brussels is the reason for the slow down in negotiations.

If we were to take a look at the EU front, they blame Turkey for slowing things down. This sentence is often heard "The AKP administration neglected the reforms. We lost last year because of elections. 2008 was lost because of the presidential elections and AKP’s court case at the Constitutional Court; there are big reforms that need to be implemented. But the administration has no such desire." What’s even more important is that in some capital cities Turkey’s EU target is being questioned for the first time. The general impression is along the lines of the AKP not being as ambitious for full membership as it was in 2004 and even started to drink in the idea of remaining as a "prospective candidate country."

In simple phrase, there is a slow down but in regards to who is the source of this; everybody throws the ball at each other. A race is being done in this regard. The most important process takes place during the period from the beginning of 2009 and year-end. The below list will show how relations will be affected. The EU Commission will change Commission is protecting and watching over candidate countries like Turkey. On the outside there might not be a difference between the Commission and the Council. However, the commission is acting on behalf of the council and strives for full membership of the candidate country. So for example, the full membership of Turkey


would be a success of the commission. In this context, members of the Commission are very important. It is a huge advantage if the attitude of the commissioners is positive toward Turkey’s full membership. Today’s commission consists of names, like especially commissioner Rehn who is responsible for the expansion, and Commission President Barosso and former enlargement commissioner Verheugen, who all know and support Turkey. By the time the Commission changes in 2009 we don’t know whom we will confront. With commissioners who have an adverse view on Turkey, we will have a hard time. Parliament elections will take place European Parliament elections will distress relations between Turkey and Europe. The shortest way to win votes is to attack Turkey, considering allegations that Turkey is not European we can conclude that European members of the Parliament will do whatever they can. A verdict date is approaching for Cyprus Finally, the last and foremost subject, Turkish ports opening for Cypriot Greek ships. You’ll remember, that a time until December of 2009 when the EU heads of state summit takes place was granted for the opening of the Turkish ports to Greek commercial ships. When by December



2009 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Greek Republic have not come to an agreement or Turkey has not delivered its obligations within the frame of customs union, the EU Council could suspend relations all together. Ways are being sought to overcome constipation Reality is that neither the EU is thinking about changing its attitude nor any effort is being made by the AKP administration to accelerate reforms in order to surpass the constipation in relations. In situations like these new scenarios are being produced. A trial balloon is being thrown and reactions waited upon. In this sense a "gradual membership" formula has been dropped into the EU corridors. The first balloon was dropped by Kadri Gürsel in his article in Milliyet to be summarized as: "If it would take too much time to admit the whole of Turkey into the EU and for the EU to assimilate Turkey as a large county then we should do this gradually starting with the most possible and functional areas." Gürsel explains this point of view, which arises from institutions with European based ideas that participated in the last EDAM (Economy and Foreign Politics Research Center) meeting in Bodrum:

"Taking into view that two mutual areas of cooperation wanted on both parts, Turkey and EU, one being energy and the other being defense and security; the formula for the defense and security dimension will function like this: Turkey will first enter the EU in regards to the defense and security dimension and will have all the authorities of a full member limited to this area. It was stressed during the meeting that a gradual membership is not to be confused with a privileged partnership. A privileged partnership represents a full membership but a gradual membership is an intermediate stage on the way to full membership. A gradual membership is an idea supposed to keep the process alive but needs much discussion; EU’s legal structure does not allow for a gradual membership to pass. But let’s not forget that all transformation starts at the level of an idea." Kadri Gürsel is right. Especially in Europe these kinds of scenarios start at an idea level and if everybody embraces it, a legal cover will follow. To tell the truth, this is a very dangerous formula; but as long as Ankara does not react it won’t get rid of these kinds of formulas. Mehmet Ali Birand is the anchorman for Turkey's television channel Kanal D and a columnist for the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.


The new battle zone By Mitat Celikpala

curred in the perception and policies of the transatlantic world – primarily the EU and NATO – of and towards the region. The new target of these organizations, which are about to complete the process of political integration with Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, is the Caucasus.

The Caucasus had been on the agenda in the first half of 2008 due to the instability in the region during and after the elections in Armenia and Georgia. The Caucasus dominated the world's attention in the second half of 2008 with its elections issues, their potential impact on Azerbaijan, and solution initiatives for the frozen conflicts. Taking into account Russia's desire to be more active in the political arena, and the expansion of the NATO/transatlantic security zone to the Caucasus alongside these developments, it is clearly evident that the rivalry has acquired a global dimension. The Caucasus – particularly Georgia – has become an active war zone with the constant potential as a hot conflict within the framework of the global quest for power.

The whole world is closely following the developments in the Caucasus, and common solutions are being sought for the regional problems. The connection between the interests of parties and the solutions to problems has given the struggle for a balance of power a new global dimension. Since their independence, the Caucasian republics have tried to form reliable and sustainable state structures that prioritize the protection of this independence. While Georgia, from the beginning, perceived Russia as a threat to its national existence and sought to become part of the Western world and its institutions, Armenia forged a full alliance with Russia to protect its security and territorial integrity. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has preferred to pursue a more balanced policy, reflecting its wealth of natural resources and the diversity of its problems. In this context, the main factor determining regional countries' positions and policies is essentially global processes. It is evident that fundamental change has oc-

US efforts for infiltration and Turkish straits The U.S. obviously plays an active role in this struggle and is perceived as the global hegemon trying to infiltrate the region. The recent struggle around the Black Sea region has now reached Georgia, having moved from Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania, one by one. Poland and the Czech Republic could be added to this list, since the clash over the missile shield has led to the perception of an encirclement policy. The commencement of negotiations between the U.S. and Poland following the armed conflicts in South Ossetia, Ukraine's attitude towards the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, and the accelerated implementation of the encirclement policy all raise expectations of a tougher Russian reaction. This situation will occasionally put Turkey, which controls the Straits (the gates to the Black Sea), in a difficult position. In this context, it could be argued that the struggle for global hegemony has turned the Caucasus into a ‘war zone.' It is apparent that the U.S. is gradually directing its resources away from Europe towards the Middle East, the Caucasus and its neighboring regions. It is evident that, together with the


agreements made with the Czech Republic and Poland and the missile defense system, this is all part of the Russian encirclement policy. It is understood that Russia, which is incapable of preventing this encirclement, wants to play a Caucasian-centered game. It must be stressed that the U.S. wants to launch a new initiative that will boost its effectiveness, by placing Georgia at the center of its policies. Within this framework, Washington's priority is finding a solution to the frozen conflicts with Abkhazia and South Ossetia that would serve its own interests. On the other side of the struggle in the Caucasus is Russia, and its perspective is arguably the product of a geopoliticalgeostrategic approach. It is obvious that the transatlantic world's process of expansion is not in Russia's interests and perceived by Russia as a threat. The new Russian vision is one of domestic order, growth, international acceptance, respect and legitimacy. In order to meet these expectations, Russia conveys the message that it can cooperate regionally – in the Caucasus for example – with Western actors, and the U.S., initially by employing various diplomatic and political methods. Tactical steps The "Strategy for Development to 2020," which was formed by Vladamir Putin and adopted by new President Dmitry Medvedev, defines Russia as a global actor. Indeed, there are many reasons to believe efforts to reach this target continue steadily: the increasing levels of criticism leveled at the Western world – the center of which is the U.S. – since Putin's speech at the Munich Conference in February 2007, the decision to unilaterally suspend the European Conventional Forces Treaty (ECFT) on 12 December 2007, the initiatives to create special spheres of influence around the Black Sea and the Caspian region, the efforts to re-establish, at a new level, relations with such Middle Eastern countries as



Iran and Syria, and the proposed alternative solution to the problems in Kosovo and Abkhazia. Considering the recent developments related to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Caucasus appears to be the new conflict zone for this struggle. Frozen conflicts underlie the new ‘cold war' going on in the Caucasus. The Westernoriented perception of the situation is that while Russia works to provoke these crises to serve its own interests, the U.S., EU and their institutions work to solve them. However, when the end result is analyzed it is evident that all parties are trying to manipulate the crises to their own advantage. When the recent developments are examined, it is apparent that the struggle for balance takes shape around Abkhazia and the Abkhazian problem. The parties are taking tactical, strategic steps to ensure the crises reemerge or are resolved as suits their purposes. South Ossetia could be considered Georgia's test case for Abkhazia. Russia's reaction and response to Georgia have demonstrated the ineffectiveness of such experiments. The struggle has advanced to a global level, and whether it will play out to the Western world's advantage and Russia's disadvantage, as in the previous cases of Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, is an important question; the Caucasus is not in Europe, nor are the Caucasian states Balkan or Eastern European.

Turkey's interests under threat Within this general framework, Turkey's position and attitude is important. It is widely known that Turkey has always sided with the West in the resolution of European problems as well as during EU/NATO enlargements. Turkey was among the first to recognize Kosovo's independence. However, in terms of the developments around, and debates regarding, the Black Sea and its basin, Turkey has not refrained from conflict with the West in order to protect certain fundamental treaties – such as the Montreux Convention – and its national interests. On occasion, the US has criticized Turkey for taking Russia's side. Turkey's growing economic relations with Russia, and the debates on whether commercial relations can be used to establish a strategic political and military alliance, have occupied Turkey's domestic and foreign agenda for a long time. As a neighbor, Turkey's attitude towards the Caucasus, now or in the future, will have direct repercussions for Turkish-Russian and Turkish-U.S./Western relations. Meanwhile, the policies pursued will reflect on Turkey's relations with the regional states. As a neighboring country, Turkey will have to face

the long-term consequences – whether negative or, with the correct approach, positive – as it had during the problems on its southern border. The breakdown of relations between Russia and Georgia and the irreconcilability that will result from the destructive war, carries the potential to not only adversely affect Turkey's economic and political projects, such as the BSEC, BTC pipeline and BTK railroad, but also bring an end to Black Sea-centered regional security initiatives such as the BLACKSEAFOR and Black Sea Harmony. The collapse of these regional projects, which are the products of lengthy and problematic efforts, would lead to unwanted developments and outcomes for Turkey. It will be remembered that until the mid1990s, Georgia had not occupied an important place in Turkey's Caucasus and Central Asia policies. However, it took center stage when relations with Armenia deteriorated, Iran was isolated from international relations and competition with Russia began. Georgia has been given a major role in Turkey's energy projects, such as the BTC and BTK oil and natural gas pipelines, and transportation projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railroad. Since the beginning of Saakashvili's term, Turkey has actively contributed, together with the U.S., to many civilian, military, social and economic projects to assist Georgia's development. The most important result of these investments and initiatives is that, economically, Turkey has become Georgia's primary partner. Indeed, Georgia is the only country among the former Soviet states to surpass Russia in its level of economic relations with Turkey. Although the figures are not high in absolute terms, this has symbolic and political importance. Moreover, the Turkish level of investment puts Turkey at the top of Georgia's list of foreign direct investors.

Armenia alternative It could be argued that the latest developments will damage Turkey and Turkey's Caucasus and Central Asia policies as much as it did Georgia. In addition to the economic problems, Turkey's political course of action/vision and infrastructure, which have been developed over the last decade with huge effort and occasionally ambiguously, are under threat of collapse. Turkey's connection with Azerbaijan and Central Asia is weakening and there is a possibility that its policy to form a secure line might collapse. Georgia's instability and civil war is more of a threat to Turkey than a Georgia without territorial integrity. Georgia-centered instability and disorder will force Turkey to choose between different alternatives, though clearly there are few to choose from. The possibility of diversifying relations with Iran is seriously limited by the U.S., and to a certain extent by Iran's policy choices and attitudes. The only alternative that remains is Armenia. The acceleration of secret and indirect negotiations with Armenia to overcome the problems and progress in the resolution of problems between Armenia and Azerbai-

jan could be expected. The Armenian Diaspora and relations with Russia will be the major roadblocks in this process. In this context, the policies towards Azerbaijan will be another restriction. It must be stressed that Georgian leader Saakashvili has led himself, his country, Turkey and his allies onto a problematic path. The negotiations, which will be the result of the interaction of multiple unknowns, will result in a different Georgia and Caucasus. This process, in which the EU and USA will have an influential role, is filled with questions about the situation of Abkhazians and Ossetians, as well as Georgians. Turkey certainly needs to find its place at the table; Turkey's regional interests are too important to be left to even its closest allies to defend. Providing decisionmakers with daily, reliable and constructive alternatives is just as important as swift and correct decision-making Mitat Celikpala is associate professor .... teaches in the department of international relations at TOBB Economics and Technology University.


Istanbul now and forever part of Europe By Ali Osman Egilmez

"Europe is an unfinished project. Everyone has a role to play and I include Istanbul in this statement,'' said Professor Laura Kolbe at a symposium taking place in November. It seems the choice of place to answer the question “what is European culture” was not random. According to Professor Kolbe, Istanbul has always and will always be at the heart of European culture and deserves to be the continent’s cultural capital in 2010. Ottoman values, traditions and culture has had a great impact and influence upon European countries over the years. Istanbul has a great wealth of history and has become a hotspot for cultural diversity over the years. Each European state has a unique "soul" with a cultural identity that extends beyond politics and economics. Europe needs to find common values and make it the essence of one unified culture and 2010 is Turkey's opportunity to contribute to this culture. Regarding difficulties in integrating Muslim traditions into a Christian Europe, Kolbe stated Muslim tradition was part of European tradition and there were many



overlapping values with other European religions that could be inserted into the European culture. Religion is an integral part of culture and the fact that Istanbul’s religion differs from Europe makes the setting for the cultural capital even more unique. Colorful European street festivals set infront of an illuminated backdrop of a mosque over looking the Bosporus is quite the setting for cultural celebrations. Prejudices to be addressed Vladimir Sucha, speaking on behalf of the EU Commission, said Istanbul, as cultural capital would be important in showing Europeans Turkey’s "cultural richness." Adding that Turkey will have no problem signing up to cultural policies proposed by the EU, and once they do, that is just one more step towards membership" added Sucha. Culture is a vital element in the EU's international relations; even member states hold prejudices against each other, not just Turkey. It is important for European states to step forward and be open to what could be learned from other cultures and overcome their prejudices. Istanbul's role as European Cultural Capital will only help develop social interaction, communication and dialogue between the Union and Turkey.

All your dreams in a suitcase Are you a young student? Do you like traveling abroad, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures? If the answer is yes, and you are searching for a way to make your dreams come true, then take a look at some interesting ideas: The European Union funds a great variety of organizations, programs, and forums whose goal is to bring together groups of young people and give them the opportunity to discuss various issues and learn about each others’ country, culture and language. There are organizations around Europe, not linked to any political party, that concern themselves with young people from 15 to 25 years of age and whose activities are based on the voluntary work of their members. Their purpose is to promote democracy, human rights, and a European understanding through education. They organize meetings, giving their members the chance to travel around Europe and represent their common experiences and goals in a multicultural environment. Examples of this type, among others, are the “Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l'Europe” (AEGEE) and the “Young European Federalists” (YEF). Active citizenship at the European level is a necessary component of democracy. The European Union is often blamed for its democratic deficit and the distance between the European institutions and the people. It is up to us to contribute to a more democratic Europe. The European Youth Parliament represents a non-partisan and independent educational project tailored entirely to the needs of young European citizens, promoting their social and professional skills. The European Youth Forum encourages young people

to exchange ideas and experiences, to elaborate policies and positions, and to learn how to respect others’ cultures and rights. Euromed Youth is a program dealing with issues of the Euro-Mediterranean region, and it operates “Euromed Youth Exchanges” and the “Euromed Voluntary Service.” For university students, it is essential not to lose the chance to live abroad by taking advantage of EU-funded programs for student exchanges, such as Erasmus Mundus, Erasmus, and Leonardo Da Vinci. The Erasmus Mundus supports European top-quality Master’s courses and promotes European higher education in non-EU states. The Erasmus program is the perfect choice if you are interested in enriching your studies by gaining the experience of living in another country, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and improving your language skills; Leonardo Da Vinci addresses the need of improving the training skills of teaching staff

By Stamatia Petropoulou and Marianna Tzouleki

across Europe and responds to the learning needs of European citizens. If all these seem to be insufficient, then we have something else to offer: a degree from the joint academic program “ Mediterra” in the field of Mediterranean Studies. The goal of cooperation among universities located in the broader Euro-Mediterranean area is to facilitate the mobility of students and faculty members. A recent joint effort to establish a university network is the EuroMediterranean University based in Portoroz, Slovenia with an aim of strengthening the ties among the EU, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The eastern branch is planned to be based in the University of the Aegean, Greece. There is also the chance for students registered at six institutions (Arhus, Athens, Lancaster, Rome, Lyon, and Porto) to get virtually connected through Virtual Student Mobility (VSM). Think about it and follow your dreams! Stamatia Petropoulou and Marianna Tzouleki are students at the Department of International and European Studies of the University of Piraeus.


The role of Europeans of Turkish origin in Turkey-EU relations This piece of research deals with a wide range of issues, ranging from the relationships that Belgian-Turks have with Turkey and Europe, as well as their relations with Belgium, its citizens and institutions. Questions of identity and integration, where Islam, on both the personal and public level, plays an essential role is also discussed. Moreover, Belgian-Turks’ links with Turkey, Belgium and the European Union, their identity and integration, as well as the economic, cultural, political and religious diversity between BelgianTurks themselves are also discussed. One of the objectives of the King Baudouin Foundation is to contribute to the integration of immigrants living in Belgium. Who are the Belgian-Turks, the people of Turkish origin who live in Belgium? This is a pertinent question, given that Belgian-Turks form one of the largest immigrant communities in Belgium. A few months ago, the foundation decided to conduct qualitative and quantitative re-

search that would enable a better understanding of these communities, with a view to making an innovative contribution to the debates open in both Belgium and Europe on the sensitive questions raised by significant Turkish immigration. A possible line of investigation presented itself when the foundation learned of other studies involving European Turks that had been conducted in France and Germany. The Foundation decided to assign a similar study on Belgian-Turks to the Center for Migration Research attached to Bilgi University in Istanbul. The results of the study are fascinating and surprising. On the one hand because the research deals with such a range of issues, such as the interaction that Belgian-Turks have with Turkey, Europe and the various state apparatus and people of Belgium, and the role of Islam within the lives of Belgian-Turks. But also because the study highlights the contrasting experience of those within the various Turkish communities in Belgium.

Ayhan Kaya and Ferhat Kentel, Belgian-Turks: A bridge or a breach between Turkey and the European Union?, 100 pages, King Baudouin Foundation, 2008, ISBN: 9789051305876.

Trade and Growth in the Western Balkans Though western Balkan n countries have enjoyed respectable growth rates over the past five years, they now face a shifting international and domestic environment. Trade preferences are eroding, export competition is increasing, and the easier phase of post-transition growth is waning. In order to reduce still-high poverty rates and work towards EU accession, Western



Balkan countries need to improve and then sustain their economic growth performance. “Western Balkan Integration and the EU� examines topics related to current-account imbalances, export patterns, regional integration in goods and provision of services, labor costs, the investment climate, and foreign direct investment. It suggests that countries in the region could reap payoffs from sustained growth and enhanced EU accession prospects by deepening re-

gional integration, improving human capital, reducing telecommunication costs, and pre-empting energy shortages. Aimed at an audience of economic and social policy makers, scientists in Western Balkan countries, as well as international organizations, the book complements World Bank activities at the country and regional levels and will feed into countries dialogues with development partners, particularly the European Commission

Sanjay Kathuria (ed.), Western Balkan Integration with the EU: An Agenda for Trade and Growth, 224 pages, World Bank Publications, 2008, ISBN: 9780821374726.

book reviews Security through its cultural approach Recent efforts s by the United States and its allies to promote democracy, security, and stability in the Middle East owe much to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) – also known as the Barcelona Process – an important region-building plan in the Mediterranean region since 1995. The Convergence of Civilizations represents the output of an innovative and much needed collaborative project focused on the EMP. Editors Emanuel Adler, Beverly Crawford, Federica Bicchi, and Rafaella A. Del Sarto have set out to show that regional security and stability may be achieved through a cultural approach based on the concept of regional identity construction, and aim to take stock of the EMP in relation to this goal. The contributors to this collection focus on the obstacles construction of a Mediterranean region faces due to post-Sept.11 re-

gional and global events, the difficulties of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, tensions between the EU and the US over Iraq, and the expected consequences of EU enlargement. They also seek to bring the EMP and region-making practices to the attention of American scholars in order to promote a more fertile academic exchange. Ultimately, the contributors demonstrate that the EMP and related region-making practices, while failing so far to promote the development of a Mediterranean regional identity and to achieve regional stability, suggest nonetheless a viable model for regional partnership and cooperation, and thus, for preventing a “clash of civilizations” in the long haul. The Convergence of Civilizations will be an important tool for meeting the current global challenges

Emanuel Adler, Beverly Crawford, Federica Bicchi, The Convergence of Civilizations: Constructing a Mediterranean Region, 352 pages, University of Toronto Press, 2006, ISBN: 9780802038043.

Border security in volatile regions The Dynamics of Interstate Boundaries explains why some borders deter insurgents, smugglers, bandits and militants while most suffer from infiltration and crisis. Grappling with an issue at the core of the modern state and international security, George Gavrilis explores border control from the 19th century Ottoman Empire to 21st century Central Asia, China, and Afghanistan. Border control strategies emanate from core policies of state formation and the local design of border guard institutions. Secure and open borders depend on institutional design, not on military power. Based on research in numerous border regions, this book advances the study of the state, local security institutions, and conflict and co-operation over border control. It holds critical lessons for policy-makers and international organizations working to enhance border security in dangerous regions George Gavrilis, The Dynamics of Interstate Boundaries, 224 pages, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN: 9780521898997

Nationalism vs Regionalism Focusing on domestic political debates constraining cooperation, Del Sarto argues that internal disputes over national identity limit the ability of states to participate in regional forums. This is a close look at problems faced in negotiating the EuroMediterranean Partnership as a regional security project, with particular attention to case studies in Israel, Egypt, and Morocco. Raffaella A. Del Sarto, Contested State Identities and Regional Security in the EuroMediterranean Area, 304 pages, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, ISBN: 9781403970633.

11 Vasco da Gama bridge Lisbon, Portugal by Sylvia Antunes

The Bridge Magazine - Issue 11  

United in Diversity? The Mediterranean Wager

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you