In the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, the European Union’s (EU) relations with the Southern neighbour countries (SNCs) have been reframed in the light of a new élan of democracy promotion. The underlying logic of this approach was to leverage the building and consolidation of democracy and rule of law through enhanced cooperation in terms of more ‘markets, money and mobility’. A sort of mobility-democracy nexus has been assumed by the European Commission as a crucial dimension of the EU’s external relations with SNCs. Within this strategy, Mobility Partnerships (MPs) with SNCs have been identified as a key policy tool for EU democracy promotion. Via original qualitative analysis of European Commission’s documents, MPs, and other migration and mobility agreements that the EU has negotiated with SNCs since 2011, this paper explores how the mobility-democracy nexus has been defined in the Commission’s talks. We critically discuss the effectiveness of this nexus and demonstrate the inefficacy of MPs as a tool to promote democracy by fostering more mobility and regular migration flows. Looking at the content of MPs with three SNCs (Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan) allows to trace the transformation of EU external relations with SNCs from a principled approach into selective issue-oriented cooperation based on more specific and sectorial policy choices.

The Mobility-Democracy Nexus Betrayed: When the European Commission’s Talks Fall Apart in the Mediterranean

Stefania Panebianco
Primo
2024-01-01

Abstract

In the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, the European Union’s (EU) relations with the Southern neighbour countries (SNCs) have been reframed in the light of a new élan of democracy promotion. The underlying logic of this approach was to leverage the building and consolidation of democracy and rule of law through enhanced cooperation in terms of more ‘markets, money and mobility’. A sort of mobility-democracy nexus has been assumed by the European Commission as a crucial dimension of the EU’s external relations with SNCs. Within this strategy, Mobility Partnerships (MPs) with SNCs have been identified as a key policy tool for EU democracy promotion. Via original qualitative analysis of European Commission’s documents, MPs, and other migration and mobility agreements that the EU has negotiated with SNCs since 2011, this paper explores how the mobility-democracy nexus has been defined in the Commission’s talks. We critically discuss the effectiveness of this nexus and demonstrate the inefficacy of MPs as a tool to promote democracy by fostering more mobility and regular migration flows. Looking at the content of MPs with three SNCs (Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan) allows to trace the transformation of EU external relations with SNCs from a principled approach into selective issue-oriented cooperation based on more specific and sectorial policy choices.
2024
European Union, Southern neighbourhood, EU external policies, post-Arab uprisings, mobility partnerships, democracy promotion, migration, content analysis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/586697
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