European Foreign Affairs Review

Volume 19 (2014)

Volume 19 (2014) / Issue 2

Jan Claudius Völkel, 'More for More, Less for Less – More or Less: A Critique of the EU’s Arab Spring Response à la Cinderella' (2014) 19 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 2, pp. 263–281


The EU quickly reacted on the Arab Spring with the elaboration of a new Mediterranean policy concept. Aiming at supporting the young democratization processes in the region, the idea of 'more for more, less for less' has been suggested as incentive for the good performers, and as deterrence for potential bad performers. While, the former can hope for increased funding, the latter are endangered of receiving less EU support. This article problematizes the consequences this concept might have if brought into reality and concludes that it is neither desirable nor expectable; instead, it calls for a more honest EU rhetoric: Rather than pretending that satisfying democratic standards could be realized soon in the Middle East and North Africa, it would be wiser to accept intermediate setbacks and continue the support, even if the political transition process might suffer negative developments. This would not only be in the interest of the affected societies which struggle about their economic and political future, but also for the EU itself, as otherwise it might further lose ground as prime partner of the countries in its Southern neighbourhood.

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ISSN: 1384-6299
ID: EERR2014013