For decades the EU has supported repressive regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. The Arab Spring did not occur because of EU support for pro-Democracy movements. It happened despite the EU! It is time for the EU to stop perceiving its Southern neighbourhood purely as a potential security threat and as a source for energy. If the EU wants to enjoy a stable and truely mutually beneficial relationship with those other states on the Mediterranean, it needs a radically new approach towards them.
Aid to states still repressive should be cut, while the door for talks should never be closed. Those states now in a transition to democracy deserve a more honest, more open access to the EU. They should be given greater advantages in terms of trade and visa facilitation, and, where possible, more aid. These payments should specifically be directed to aid the creation of a true civil society and a lasting infrastructure (politically as well as economically) which serves the people, not the elites!
More to follow on this soon!