World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010

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EU security policy-making in the Mediterranean: Consequences in value and ethical terms (089) - Panel
 

· Date: TUE 20, 11.30 am-1.30pm

· Institution: Bilkent University (Turkey)

· Organizer: Pinar Bilgin

· Language: English

· Description: What is understood by values and ethics insofar as the purposes of this panel is concerned, is ‘not a model of correct behaviour’ but ‘self-reflection’, it is about taking into account the consequences of one’s actions cognisant of the choices involved. As regards the specific interests of this panel, we are interested in the insecurities that are caused by the ‘real’ or ‘objective’ threats but also our very own efforts designed to protect us from these threats. With reference to the specific context of Euro-Mediterranean relations, the panel is interested in the ways in which insecurities are produced as part of an attempt to address those and other insecurities. What we are interested in is uncovering the moral values embedded in already existing practices and their ethical consequences. While it has become commonplace to explain the merging of the internal and external dimensions of security as a response to developments out there, there are also dynamics in here. Indeed, if internal and external dimensions of security have merged, giving rise to new insecurities, it is not only the insecurities per se, but the very process by which they have come about requires looking into. Since that process is not without agency. The role played by the agent -in this case, security agencies- becomes a focus of analysis. In the Euro-Mediterranean context, existing literature on the subject has its limits. While there is a rich body of work on various aspects of EU policies in general and Euro-Mediterranean dynamics in particular, security policies of the Union remain relatively under-studied. This is partly because it is a new development. And partly because there is relatively little we know to be analytical about. Two gaps can be identified in the literature. First, there is very little information about and reflection on the Mediterranean neighbours’ perspectives on EU security policies. Mediterranean neighbours are mostly viewed as the subjects of this policy and given very little agency in analyses. Yet different Mediterranean neighbours have adopted different stances toward EU security policies. Some have used this opportunity to upgrade their relations with the European Union; others have utilised the new EU discourse on terrorism to frame their new/old policies on existing (internal/external) security concerns. Second, there is very little research that specifically focuses on the value premises embedded in EU policies. While there is some critical literature that points to the gap between what the EU purports to do and what it ends up doing, stress is put on what else the EU is expected to do not what it already does. What often remains under-examined is the already existing cooperation on security matters. While both EMP and ENP has failed to deliver what they promised, security practices across the Mediterranean have already began to converge. The literature’s stress on divergence does not seem to allow scrutinizing already existing security policy convergence. Research that looks at the implications of such convergence for h human security is a scarce commodity indeed. This panel constitutes an initial step toward filling this gap in our existing knowledge. Of the four papers, Paper 1 by Bilgin and Soler would present an overview of the state of the field. Papers 2, 3 and 4 will look at the subject matter from the perspective of two southern Mediterranean countries, Algeria (Dris Ait-Hammadouche), Egypt (ElAgati) and Morocco (Alvarado). Each of these papers will reflect on the state of security cooperation between the case country and the European Union and consequences involved in terms of values and ethics. Bilgin and Soler would also act as discussants to further draw out the ethical and value implications of European security policy-making toward the southern Mediterranean.

Chair: Eduard Soler i Lecha (Centre d’Estudis Internacionals de Barcelona, CIDOB)

Paper discussant: Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University and CIDOB)

Paper presenter: Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University), “EU security policy-making in the Mediterranean: A preliminary overview of the consequences in value and ethical terms”
In the Euro-Mediterranean context, existing literature on the subject has its limits. While there is a rich body of work on various aspects of EU policies in general and Euro-Mediterranean dynamics in particular, security policies of the Union remain relatively under-studied. This is partly because it is a new development. And partly because there is relatively little we know to be analytical about.
Two gaps can be identified in the literature. First, there is very little information about and reflection on the Mediterranean neighbours’ perspectives on EU security policies. Mediterranean neighbours are mostly viewed as the subjects of this policy and given very little agency in analyses. Yet different Mediterranean neighbours have adopted different stances toward EU security policies. Some have used this opportunity to upgrade their relations with the European Union; others have utilised the new EU discourse on terrorism to frame their new/old policies on existing (internal/external) security concerns.
Second, there is very little research that specifically focuses on the value premises embedded in EU policies. While there is some critical literature that points to the gap between what the EU purports to do and what it ends up doing, stress is put on what else the EU is expected to do—not what it already does. What often remains under-examined is the already existing cooperation on security matters. While both EMP and ENP has failed to deliver what they promised, security practices across the Mediterranean have already began to converge. The literature’s stress on divergence does not seem to allow scrutinizing already existing security policy convergence. Research that looks at the implications of such convergence for h human security is a scarce commodity indeed.

Paper presenter: Louisa Dris Ait-Hammadouche (Algiers University), “EU-Algerian Security Cooperation: Expectations and Frustrations”
The EU security policy integrates Algeria in its different and connected dimensions: economic, military and human/cultural security. First, Algeria is one of the most important EU economic partners in the southern Mediterranean. Most of the Algerian importations come from European Union which is in return a strategic client. Actually, Algeria is one of the first three providers of the gas imported by European countries. It should be pointed out that Algeria is also a secured provider. Will a hypothetic cartel of gas change this partnership?
Secondly, Algeria and EU cooperate to fight terrorism, which is considered as a local European threat and an imported one as well. In addition, the partners combine their forces in struggling against drug and weapons trafficking, whitening money, and illegal immigration that can create other security tensions and make antiterrorist actions more complicated.
The third dimension of the EU-Algerian security cooperation has a human component. EU has to deal with an important Muslim community, moving from the south to the north Mediterranean, or settled in European countries since two or three generations diversely integrated. In France, for instance, the most important Muslim community is Algerian whose integration in the French society is still problematic.
However, despite these important common interests, the EU-Algerian cooperation is perceived in a contrasted way. Basically, two tendencies are strongly emerging. For the first one, the EU-Algerian security cooperation is a one-way road, increasing the Algerian dependency instead of promoting a real interdependency. Through this point of view, Algeria is just an energetic provider, a good policeman to fight illegal immigrants and an experimented soldier against terrorist groups.
Less pessimistic, the second tendency considers that this unbalanced of power is not only the European responsibility, and can be readjusted. This optimistic opinion is based on a severe evaluation of the Algerian policy in terms of optimal use of its internal and geopolitical stakes. In other words, Algeria does not have a real strategic policy which could concretely allow her to play the role she is supposed to play. Which view is likely to be dominant and why?

Paper presenter: David Alvarado (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and CIDOB), “EU-Morocco Security Co-operation: The European Gendarme”
Morocco is one of the main political and economic partners of the EU in the southern Mediterranean Riviera. Rabat enjoys an advanced statute within the EU, being less than a member state but more than a mere partner, finding itself present in Community institutions, with a voice but without a vote. In economic terms, the North African country is a recognised commercial partner, whose main market is Europe. Inversely, the importance of Moroccan products within the context of the EU is ever increasing and it is expected to grow further with the extension of the existing commercial agreements, especially regarding agricultural products and the full liberalisation of services. Furthermore, Morocco has consolidated itself as an attractive state for European investors, mainly Spanish and French, but also for English, German and Italian investors.
The geographical proximity between Morocco and the EU leads towards a necessary advance on the path of co-operation in terms of security due to the fact they share a series of problems which set out serious challenges for both of them. These problems include control of illicit trafficking, mainly of narcotics, irregular flows of migration towards the EU, and lately, the increased threat posed by Islamic terrorism, all of which have resulted in a series of co-operation agreements with the Kingdom of Morocco. These agreements focus mainly on issues of defence and justice between Brussels and Rabat, as well as on a bilateral level between EU Member States and Rabat.
The importance of the fight against poverty and the pursuit of development are also present in the EU security policy towards Morocco. However, not enough emphasis has been placed on these two aspects which are hardly known by the Moroccan public opinion. The general view is that the EU concentrates on control and repressive aspects in the framework of it security policy. According to this rationale, any kind of aid that comes from Brussels is subject to the main concerns exposed by the Europeans, mainly clandestine migration and Islamic terrorism. A view that has become widely accepted is that Morocco has become Europe’s gendarme, taking on the dirty work as to speak, so that the problems remain in Morocco and in the southern Mediterranean Riviera, in order to avoid them reaching the more developed northern neighbour. The interests of return of the Moroccan work regarding Europe in terms of security would not be sufficient.

Paper presenter: Habiba Mohsen (Arab Forum for Alternatives, Egypt), “EU Security policies: Challenges and effects on the South of the Mediterranean”
The security policies planed from the E.U. and applied on the south of the Mediterranean, does not only affect security in this region, but it has a large effect on other issues such as human rights, civil society freedom, etc. The security issues should not only consist on the technical level, but it has to based on a political view that analyses the economic and political challenges for such policies and its effects on different human rights aspects, taking into consideration the region as a whole and not on a part of it only.
This paper objective is to determine how the EU security policy is compatible with its own commitment to security in the south of the Mediterranean, and how the EU security policies affect both shores of the Mediterranean, both on the state and human security level. The interviews conducted will focus on collecting information on how the legal implementation of the security measures introduced by the EU and some of its member states affected Egypt as a southern Mediterranean country, particularly in the terms of value orientations, reactions, experiences. As well as its culture conflicts, political, economic and social effects. The researchers will focus on the European Neighbourhood policy, the general policies of the EU, and the specific policies of its member states.
Hence, the methodology of this study will consist on a questionnaire through three steps:
Step I: investigating and conducting a brief research on the main terms and concepts used in the paper, as well as the main treaties and legal documents that the questionnaire is referring to, such as: the European Neighbourhood policy, Egypt’s Association Agreement…etc. In addition to that, a brief research on the major legislative changes concerning issues like migration, anti- terrorism, security policies, or any form of security cooperation between Egypt and the EU, or any of its member states.
Step II: interviewing six categories of different involved parts in this issue:
-Representatives of the EU delegation in Egypt
-Representatives of EU embassies in Egypt
-Officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
-Representatives from NGOs working in the field of Euro- Mediterranean Cooperation, and in Human Rights monitoring in Egypt.
-Experts and researchers in the field of Euro- Mediterranean cooperation
-Officials from other Egyptian ministries (such as the Ministry of International Cooperation)
Step III: producing a paper for the outputs of the research and interviews presenting a southern view from Egypt to the security policies taken by the E.U. and its members.