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And why not create an internal market in the Middle East, says Michel Barnier

(BRUSSELS2) Speaking before the Brussels Europe Press Club on Thursday (May 24), Michel Barnier, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, considered that the consolidation of democracy in Arab countries was a major challenge for Europe.

Their stability, our stability

Today, " the Egyptian people hold the keys to democracy in their hands ". But democracy this takes time » he explains. It is a demanding exercise. And " Europe cannot just watch and encourage ". Because “the instability of this region is also our instability. We must therefore contribute to the stability of this region of the Near and Middle East. ". " These democracies will be all the more solid if they have growth and can provide a future for young people. This also applies to all these countries, but also to the Palestinian state. "

An internal market, water management, an agricultural policy

And to develop an idea, that of building an internal market specific to the Middle East or Near East. “ In these countries, we need to build a market, remove barriers, facilitate trade... The Arab Spring allows this to happen.. » What Europe has done can be an example. “ With other laws, other methods because they are other traditions. But the important thing is to share. To pool does not mean to standardize. » And beyond the creation of a common market in the Middle East, we could also be interested in other projects of common interest, “ have water management, have a common agricultural policy, why not. “He also specified how much” Europe has no lessons to give. But it can provide experience. »

In Africa too

This idea of ​​an internal market could not only concern the countries of the Arab world or the Middle East. It could also find application in Africa explains the commissioner. “ I recently spoke with African Union leaders in Addis Ababa. Africa is an exciting, difficult, immense continent. We will not be able to immediately create a single market for all of Africa. But we can create regional economic markets: for North Africa, for East Africa and for West Africa. It is undoubtedly in this region, with ECOWAS, that it is undoubtedly the most advanced. “There again, he adds” Europe must support these regimes, must help these countries. there is a chance for these countries to put together these common markets. »

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).