Speech on behalf of the High Representative/Vice-President at the European Parliament plenary debate on “Post-Arab Spring: way forward for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region”

March 28, 2019
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The Speech was delivered by Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations on behalf of High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.

Honourable Members,

First, I wish to thank the Rapporteur, Mr [Brando] Benifei [Member of the European Parliament], for his Report on the situation in certain countries of the MENA region since the Arab Spring.

The demand for better democracies. The demand for social justice. The demand for freedom of expression. In short, the demand for more inclusive systems of governance. This was the core of the Arab spring. And some countries have come a long way since 2011: I think in particular of Tunisia – which was the first country to rise up, and is still a point of reference for the region.

Our Global Strategy for foreign and security policy makes it very clear. Stability in our region cannot be guaranteed if these demands are ignored or denied. A resilient state needs a resilient society. And a resilient society must feature democracy, trust in institutions, and sustainable development.

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Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia