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Will Europe Shrink From the Arab Spring?

Omer Taspinar, Jonathan Laurence Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011

Will the Arab Spring finally end the European Union’s lethargic approach to the southern Mediterranean and lead to more serious support for democratization? Don’t hold your breath. There are three key reasons why “business as usual” with only cosmetic changes is likely to remain the norm.

First and foremost is the fact that Europe is in deep economic and financial crisis. With growing discord between France, Britain and Germany, not only the future of the euro but the very foundations of the European Union are at stake. Consumed by its own existential crisis, a serious rethinking of foreign policy is obviously not a top priority for the EU at the moment. ...

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