The European Union's (EU) relationship with North African countries has long been the subject of intense academic enquiry. For many years, the EU has performed a difficult balancing act between managing the security concerns of its member states, dealing with authoritarian regimes that have questionable human rights records, creating and maintaining good economic relations, and pursuing more normative objectives. Have security objectives overridden other concerns? While the EU has cooperated with regimes with questionable human rights records, counterterrorism cooperation between the EU and North African countries has not developed as much as previous academic studies believe. However, what are the prospects of this changing with more recent developments after the Arab Spring? This article examines in detail the reasons why the EU does not currently conduct significant counterterrorism cooperation with North African countries and discusses whether this situation is likely to change as a result of the events of the Arab Spring, which has swept through North Africa and the Middle East since 2010.
- Arab Spring
- EU-North Africa Security Cooperation
- European Union
- North Africa