ReadsWeekend

Middle East disaster, Europe guilty or accomplice?

(B2) Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Egypt… the sand is becoming shifting for Europeans in their southern neighborhood.

In all these crises, our colleague specialist in the Middle East, correspondent in Brussels, Salim Badaoui, with Hela Sahli, decipher step by step the events, the European declarations, often hazardous, sometimes contradictory... and the continuation of these declarations, which is sometimes very limited. The attitude in particular of the then High Representative, Catherine Ashton, is being scrutinized.

In 2010-2011, the Jasmine revolution in Tunisia surprised Europeans. They believed Ben Ali's regime to be stable and solid. Patatras everything is collapsing. In a few months, European policy in the country was revised, placing greater emphasis on democracy. But is the officially stated support real on the ground?

In 2011, in Libya, the military victory was not really followed by political stabilization. Were the Europeans right to become militarily involved in the Libyan crisis?

In Syria, in 2012, the civil revolt - supported by the West - transformed into a violent civil conflict - where the Europeans were no longer heard. Could Europe act? Did she not sin out of naivety by calling for Bashar's departure without having the means for this policy? Was the birth of the Islamic State organization in neighboring Iraq predictable?

In 2013, they were banking on democratic progress in Egypt after the events in Tahar Square, the place taken by the Muslim brothers makes Europeans silent - with one or two exceptions - in the face of the military coup.

A short book that is easy to read and captivating because it exposes a lesser-known policy of Europe in an explosive neighborhood.

  • Middle East disaster, Europe guilty or complicit? Salim Badaoui and Hela Sahli, Ed Pandora's Box, €17,90

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).