Recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have shown that protests driven by a range of socio-economic and political demands have a greater chance of achieving change than uprisings that are motivated by religious and political ideologies.
The EU, which has worked for decades on North Africa’s development, must step up its efforts to bolster the region’s private sector and dismantle its own agricultural protectionism.
In the wake of the upheaval in Tunisia, Arab leaders need to recognize that no country is invulnerable and take steps to open political systems to improve the democratic and political rights of the population.
With the EU and the United States no longer occupying the central place in Turkey’s foreign policy, some of Ankara’s new foreign policy choices have created frictions with its traditional allies and are sparking concern among some observers of a gradual drift away from the West.
With no precedent for regime transition and democratization in the Arab states, reformers in Tunisia are likely to encounter significant complications on the road to democracy.
The recent collapse of the coalition government in Lebanon and the anticipated announcement of indictments from the U.N. tribunal have caused political upheaval and could lead to a crisis that might engulf the country and the region.
While the departure of President Ben Ali does not necessarily signal a democratic transition, the international community can play a role in creating space for a genuine democracy to take root in Tunisia.
The West must find ways to accommodate Ankara’s growing global ambitions even as it urges Turkey to take a more constructive and visible role in the challenges of global governance.
The establishment of an effective cooperative foreign policy with Turkey would get the European External Action Service off to a strong start and demonstrate that both Ankara and Brussels are committed to an ambitious agenda for the wider Middle East.
Confronting the global challenges in 2011, from the ongoing war in Afghanistan and a rising China to continuing international economic turmoil, will require an understanding how much has changed and the extent to which the center of gravity in global power has shifted.