In an article from April 23rd, we raised the question of the integration of Maghreb countries in the European Union. In our article, we stated that the geographical or cultural arguments for overtly rejecting the nomination of some North African countries were not admissible.
In the same article, it seemed to us, in fact, that there were two reasons that made the integration of a country such as Tunisia difficult. An economic argument: the European Union in the context of economic crisis could probably not support the integration of new countries with a GDP comparable to that of Romania. A political one: the lack of democracy in this country.
However, the question of an alliance between the EU and North Africa, which would offer a stronger economic advantage in negotiations, is currently gaining a bit of exposure with the book entitled “Pour une Europe juste” (For a fair Europe) written by Elisabeth Guigou.
The window of democracy is opening in Tunisia. Even if the risk of dictatorship is high, to say the very least, and many obstacles will have to be surpassed (for example, the necessary reform of the constitution), one can hope that Tunisia will eventually become a pluralistic Republic.
Many questions still need to be solved, obviously, and it is likely that before the accession of a new country, the EU will have to be reformed. Still, if the democratic breakthrough is confirmed in Tunisia, why not encourage this through our ever young European diplomacy?
Why not strengthen our ties with this country, offering a more extensive cooperation and establishing a reward to democracy, thereby sending a strong signal to all our neighbors? It would demonstrate that our ideals are more than merely a discourse.
This is a delicate subject, but such an approach could match our objectives. If the transition from dictatorship to democracy is confirmed in Tunisia, the distance between Europe and the south shore of the Mediterranean would be significantly reduced.