European Insecurity: Managing Changing Relations at Home and Abroad

Author:Julie Fraser interviews Dr. M Drent and Dr. B van Ginkel of the Clingendael Institute
Position:BA, LL.B. (honours), LL.M. (cum laude). External Affairs Editor, Merkourios, Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, 2011-2012
European Insecurity: Managing Changing Relations at Home
and Abroad
Interviews with Dr. Margriet Drent and Dr. Bibi van Ginkel of the Security and Conict Programme of the Netherlands
Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’
Julie Fraser*
Dr. Margriet Drent is a Senior Research Fellow at the Security and Conict Programme of the Netherlands Institute of International
Relations ‘Clingendael’ and Assistant Professor at the International Relations and International Organisation Department of the
University of Groningen. Dr. Drent’s PhD on the ‘Europeanisation of security’ focused on what is now known as the Common
Security and Defence Policy. She is also a member of the Peace and Security Committee of the Advisory Council on International
e Arab
Spring is one of
Europe’s major
Merkourios 2012 – Volume 28/Issue 74, Interview, pp. 61-66.
URN: NBN:NL:UI:10-1-112852
ISSN: 0927-460X
Publisher: Igitur, Utrecht Publishing & Archiving Services
Copyright: this work has been licensed by the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0)
I. Revolution in the Neighbourhood:
Europe’s Role in the Arab Spring
Last year witnessed great changes in North Africa
and the Middle East with the large-scale and ongoing
protests of the Arab Spring. Several countries in
the region remain in turmoil, while others rebuild
in the aftermath of revolution. 2012 holds many
challenges for these countries, and especially for the
process of democratic transition in Libya, Egypt
and Tunisia. Dr. Drent, how did Europe react to
the unrest in their backyard and how has Europe’s
security relationship with these countries changed?
Europe has been conspicuously absent from
North Africa. e Arab Spring is one of Europe’s
major challenges, as it is so close to Europe’s
borders and a part of its Neighbourhood Policy.1
* BA, LL.B. (honours), LL.M. (cum laude). External Af-
fairs Editor, Merkourios, Utrecht Journal of Internatio-
nal and European Law, 2011-2012.
e Neighbourhood Policy originally centred
on stability and aimed at developing countries
in the North African region to form a buer
for southern European borders. While Europe
was arguably more critical of the human rights
situations in countries such as Egypt and Libya,
Europe has mostly followed USA policies in the
region. Like the USA, Europe was all too content
for long-standing dictators to ensure stability.
It was only a short while ago that Gadda was
putting up his tents in Paris and paying a visit
to London.
1 e European Neighbourhood Policy was developed
in 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence
of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its
neighbours and instead strengthening the prosperity,
stability and security of all. e Neighbourhood Policy
is chiey a bilateral policy between the EU and each
partner country, including Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
See further European Union External Action, ‘Euro-
pean Neighbourhood Policy – Overview’, available at
accessed 23
February 2012.
Merkourios - International and European Security Law - Vol. 28/74

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