The EU’s Mediation Role in the Post-Arab Spring Era: A Comparative Analysis of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya

PDF downlaodJuliette Bisard*

POMEAS BRIEF No.9, June 2015 

While the EU has often been criticized for its passiveness towards Arab Spring countries, these uprisings have provided the EU with its first opportunity to implement its mediation package policies. Although it was previously assumed that these policies only extended to countries in which the prospect of membership concretely existed1, the EU has shifted its neighborhood strategy to include its Southern borders in the Mediterranean, committing a different type of diplomatic mission toward them. Fortified by peacekeeping and crisis management experience at the supranational level, the EU designed a mediation policy under the auspices of the Lisbon Treaty in the wake of the Arab Spring. The EU has made conflict resolution one of its most strategic foreign policy orientations, and meditation has become an essential part of this strategy.2

In the case of the Arab Spring, mediation processes appeared as a unique solution in a highly polarized atmosphere. The uprisings’ aftermath revealed strong divisions among political leaders that were previously hidden behind authoritarian regimes—between liberal secularists and Islamists, between the army and Islamists, and between civil society and newly -elected governments.3 As these divisions began to result in armed conflicts throughout the region, mediation imposed itself as a vital solution to these problems.4

This paper will analyze the EU’s role as mediator in its neighboring countries in the Southern Mediterranean: more specifically, its role in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya’s post-Arab Spring transitions. Tunisia has appeared as the most advanced democratic model in the Southern Mediterranean while the EU’s meditation efforts in Egypt began to lose force after Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power. In the burning case of Libya, the EU continues to play an important role under the aegis of the UN.

The Lisbon Treaty: giving the EU a new tool in its toolbox

Prior to the Lisbon Treaty, mediation had not been utilized as a formal EU foreign policy tool. So, why did it come as an idea for the EU to incorporate mediation, specifically during the Arab Spring, as an additional tool in its toolbox? First, it must be recognized that the EU is a supranational peace-building project. By gathering countries together in the aftermath of World War II, the idea of the European Union has managed to maintain relative peace throughout the continent. The EU considers that its external action has to be guided “by the principles which have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which is seeks to advance in the wider world,” that is to say democracy, the rule of law, the respect of human rights, etc.5 As the EU has often tried to influence third countries through its own experience, it has become a natural model for countries looking to build peace within their own region. However, the carrot and stick policy offered by the EU, such as economic partnerships or even membership, do not seem to work in the new emergent conflicts, which concern internal divisions, even civil war, rather than conflicts opposing two states.6 Therefore, mediation has been developed both as a means to deal with common concerns between third parties and, further, as a means for the EU to exercise its economic soft power.

Moreover, mediation is seen as a foreign policy tool able to bring coherence between national foreign policies, a coherence that was the main motive for the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. As defined by the EU itself, mediation is understood here as “a way of assisting negotiations between conflict parties and transforming conflicts with the support of an acceptable third party.”7 By enacting the Lisbon Treaty, the main idea was to further the EU’s role as an international actor in mediation processes within multilateral organizations, such as the WTO. However, what is an essential point to realize is that mediation is the only foreign policy field, apart from humanitarian aid and development, that does not overshadow national foreign policies. Mediation allows the EU to be an international actor, without taking firm positions that could harm the positions of member states.

The Lisbon Treaty reinforced the external power of the EU by introducing several institutional adjustments, aiming to transform the EU into a key player in the field of international mediation. However, what most observers do not realize is that the EU practiced mediation before Lisbon: From an institutional point of view, most of the functions related to EU mediation already existed prior to the treaty and mirror many of the new institutions that have been created. Javier Solana was the first High Representative of Common and Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) from 1999 to 2009, before the creation of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty. The European Union Special Representatives (EUSR) was created in 1996 in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide8 for the purpose of giving information to Brussels about the situation in crisis regions and engaging dialogue with parties—performing precisely the same functions that the EUSR performed after Lisbon, too. Furthermore, from a technical point, the EU had already financially and logistically committed itself to supporting mediation talks by implementing the Rapid Reaction Mechanism (RRM) in 2001 (which was then replaced by the Instrument for Stability (IfS) in 2007) as the EU’s main crisis response capacity.9 This mechanism has been used in many cases over the years, such as in the conflict between Macedonia and Albania, during the Ukrainian Orange Revolution, and in the Middle East Peace Process.10

The Lisbon Treaty constituted a major shift in the EU’s foreign policy, transforming the EU’s institutional architecture in order to boost its international influence. In 2009, the European External Action Service (EEAS), headed by the High Representative of the EU, who is simultaneously Vice-President of the European Commission, was created to give the EU a diplomatic face—although it took one year for Catherine Ashton, the first appointed High representative, to formally launch the organization. The Council of the EU adopted the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities in November 2009,11 implementing the EU’s own mediation capacities and team. Advocated by the Swedish presidency of the Council of the EU, this created a Mediation Support Team for the EU, as well as a Conflict Prevention, Peace-Building, and Mediation Instrument Division. The Mediation Support Team’s goals emphasize dialogue, as long as the mediation efforts are deemed locally legitimate, inclusive, and democratic.12 Furthermore, the EU set up EUSR missions in different deadlocked regions. One of the first appointed missions of the EUSR was in the South Mediterranean. Envoy Bernardino Leon was given the task of keeping EU officials informed of the situation during the Arab Spring in order to bridge networks between civil society and elite-centered transitional governments, with the aim to create a more fluid dialogue between the EU and South Mediterranean countries.13

In fact, as the EU established a diplomatic arsenal and a mediation policy after the Lisbon Treaty, the personality of the High representatives has since constituted an important factor to take into account when analyzing the EU’s approach to mediation in the Arab Spring. In choosing these representatives, the larger member states chose personalities who would not interfere in their own foreign policies. Rather, they were chosen for their characteristics of being “unsuited to leadership, strategic vision and policy reform.” This lack of experience may seem counterproductive; however, sources assure that this is “exactly what EU’s national leaders wanted.”14 Therefore, the EU has appointed two High representatives since the Lisbon Treaty, both social democrats without much experience in foreign policy, who directly dealt with the Arab uprisings. The first representative, Catherine Ashton, was fiercely criticized for her passive stance toward the revolts despite her positive efforts to build up the EEAS,15 integrate the Commission into the EEAS, and coordinate all member states’ positions on the case.16 To a certain extent, she was considered very technical and methodical, without any political vision, and seen as the perfect profile for mediation by national foreign ministers. She was often depicted as a quiet diplomat, using too much soft power and “emotional intelligence.”17 Because she was not publically backed by EU foreign ministers, she developed a low profile and personal diplomacy.18 However, she was passionately committed to Egypt’s conflict resolution, dealing on an equal footing with both parties, which allowed her to meet with Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 after he was ousted by the military. The second representative, Federica Mogherini, received the same criticism concerning her inexperience at the age of 41 and her home country’s, Italy’s, position towards sanctions on Russia. With an academic background in political Islam, Mogherini was expected to develop partnerships and enhance mediation in the Mediterranean and the Middle East;19 however, at the time she did not make this her priority.

Thus, specifically in response to the Arab Spring the EU developed its range of diplomatic tools to enforce its role as the main mediator in the region. EU officials inaugurated Task Forces in Tunisia in 2011 and in Egypt in 2012 to gather high-level key players of each country together to negotiate the outcomes of the revolts and to involve themselves in democratic reforms. In addition, the EU offered election observation missions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. EU representatives met several times with members of transitional governments and opposition leaders to find a consensual way to deal with the prospective situation after the uprisings. However, the EU failed to manage these problems with the same efficiency due to mismatch between EU policies and capabilities and the unique political polarities within these three disparate countries.

Tunisia: a mediation process inherent to Tunisian politics

According to Richard Youngs, Tunisia is “the clearest example of a consensus-led reform process.”20 The EU’s mediation policy operated in the Tunisian case on the grounds of the intrinsic and historical idea of political consensus and national unity. First and foremost, the EU committed itself to economic cooperation with Tunisia under the framework of the Task Force launched in September 2011. The EU often discussed with Tunisian officials trade and market access, economic recovery, water sector reform, and aid to civil society without utilizing any crisis management solutions.21 Slowly, Tunisian actors were successful in establishing their own internal mediation dialogues between domestic actors. In order to provide short-term stability, an interim President, Béji Caïd Essebsi, was appointed until the election of a Constituent Assembly in charge of writing a new Constitution was announced. In October 2011, elections were finally staged and won by the pan-Islamic party Ennahdha. Nevertheless, the new government shaped a coalition with the Congress of the Republic, a left-wing party, and Ettakatol, a social-democrat party: Consensus was the basis of the new Tunisian politics in spite of remaining weak institutions endangered by political murders and violence throughout 2012 and 2013. After Ennahdha leaders lost legitimacy, the government launched a National Dialogue in October 2013 under the authority of a civil society quartet, guided by a leftist labor union, the Union Générale du Travail Tunisien (UGTT). Insofar as civil society is included in the dialogue, the Tunisian transition was obviously democratic. The aim of this national dialogue was to formalize a new Constitution, which was adopted in January 2014. Eventually, elections in December 2014 took place and Béji Caïd Essebsi won.

The EU has bolstered the power of the national unity government by gathering all political parties around the table to organize and supervise the elections.22 Catherine Ashton had visited Tunisia many times since the uprisings, and Bernadino Leon also visited Tunisia several times between 2011 and 2013. Additionally, meetings were organized in Brussels in February and June 2014 with the National Constituent Assembly. José Manuel Durão Barrosso (former president of the European Commission), the President of the Constituent National Assembly of Tunisia, and the Tunisian Prime Minister. Barrosso paid tribute to the inclusiveness of the dialogue, saying he was ready to support Tunisia in its democratic process. Catherine Ashton congratulated Tunisia’s adoption of the constitution as well, describing it as an “initiative to implement a national dialogue tailored to its particular circumstances, which has allowed it to stay on course with the transition.”23

Since Federica Mogherini replaced Catherine Ashton, the EU has otherwise eased its mediation pressure to stress security and economic cooperation goals, as its first two visits have illustrated. The new High Representative visited the Tunisian president once on February 13, 2015 in order to discuss political and economic transition, as well as terrorism and regional policies,24 and she hosted him in Brussels on March 17th to discuss the EU-Tunisia Association Council, emphasizing closer economic cooperation and security threats.25 Presently, the EU considers Tunisia’s political transition completed and wants to focus more on the security of the its own borders and relationship with Tunisia—thereby, lessening its mediation role. Immediately after the Bardo Museum’s attacks in Tunis on March 18, 2015, Mogherini, President of the Council of the EU Donald Tusk, and EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove travelled to Tunisia on March 29th in order to discuss EU support to Tunisian counter-terrorism, but this meeting did not lead to any agreement or EU-Tunisia cooperation in counter-terrorism. Such initiatives, however, demonstrate how the EU’s mediation role has been remodeled toward the security threat in order to prevent a possible spillover of the problems in Tunisia into neighboring countries. Nevertheless, instead of lessening its role, the EU should reinstitute its political mediation processes in the country in order to strengthen Tunisia against its internal terrorist threat.

In sum, the EU’s mediation role in Tunisia must be qualified, as the country itself has set up its own mechanisms for political mediation and launched dialogues between the different political tenders of the revolution on its own initiative. The EU has largely remained outside these processes, only accompanying the transition by endorsing and supervising it financially and diplomatically and by using its democratization and human rights funds to gather stakeholders together. As the initial aim of the Task Force of 2011 shows, the EU’s goals in Tunisia were not only to orchestrate crisis management or mediation talks but also to offer Tunisia closer economic and security ties with the EU. The Tunisian dialogue has led to reforms and to the implementation of a lively political life; however, these reforms have been delayed or diluted because of widening internal divisions within Tunisia.26

Egypt: a mediation process for a deeply polarized society

Egypt appeared as one of the first priorities of High Representative Catherine Ashton and EUSR Bernardino Leon, as Catherine Ashton was “the only high level international figure to have engaged in this way with the full spectrum of Egyptian actors.”27 In 2012, a Task Force was established to focus on crisis management and political mediation between parties, as Egypt’s situation required stability before it could fully undergo a democratic transition; however, this merely resulted in both sides deepening their economic cooperation and bilateral agreement on trade.28 Hence, political mediation was not adopted by the EU to contain the situation. A new government was elected in June 2012, although no agreement on a constitution had been found between the parties. Therefore, this led to political instability. President Mohamed Morsi sought an inclusive framework for drafting a constitution, whereby he passed decrees expanding his power over the constituent process. He submitted his own constitution project to referendum, which was democratically approved by the population in December 2012. However, the secular and liberal opposition was enraged, as they considered themselves excluded from the democratic transition, and protests started popping up against the Islamic-led government at the end of June 2013. Owing to the difficulties Mohamed Morsi faced in unifying his country, he was overthrown July 3, 2013 by the army.

Throughout Morsi’s presidency, EU officials met several times with both the Muslim Brotherhood government and opposition leaders in order to reach a political solution. The EU, as well as other international players such as the United States, acted as a necessary partner in Egypt’s transition. This group of international players attempted to install a national unity government when Mohamed Morsi was president. Allegedly, both Catherine Ashton and Bernardino Leon offered Morsi the opportunity to stay in the presidential office while replacing Egypt’s prime minister in order to create a technocratic national unity government;29 however, the Muslim Brotherhood refused to compromise as they demanded their right to stay in office after having been democratically elected. The EU High Representative visited Egypt dozens of times from 2011 to 2013, but these meetings dwindled once Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to office in January 2014, and the mediation process deteriorated. The redaction of the new constitution excluded the Muslim Brotherhood and gradually polarized Egyptian politics. Despite this setback, the EU continued to press through its mediation efforts and opened a new dialogue between the political stakeholders.30 Although this victory did not open the path to dialogue or to democratic transition, the EU issued the following statement:

The holding of the presidential elections marks an important step in the implementation of the constitutional roadmap towards the transition to democracy in Egypt. The European Union expresses its willingness to work closely with the new authorities in Egypt in a constructive partnership with a view to strengthening our bilateral relations. (…) In this context, the EU stands ready to support efforts by the new President and his government to take the necessary steps in the transition.31

However, words often differ from practice. Since Federica Mogherini has become High Representative in 2014, she has never visited Egypt to meet officials. Rather, she merely focuses on drawing attention to human rights violations and the escalation of violence instead of implementing mediation processes to help resolve these issues.

Currently, the country is highly polarized between the secularist military on the one hand, and the pan-Islamic, nationalist Muslim Brotherhood on the other. Although the Muslim Brotherhood has been settled in the country for decades, its importance in the mediation process has been underestimated by EU officials. Further, Egypt has largely rejected most of the mediation mechanisms that the EU has instated. Because of its own ambitions, Egypt seeks to be the leader of the Middle East and aims at being recognized on the international stage as a mediation and crisis management frontrunner.32 Egypt has always been reluctant to allow any external interference and believes that it can stand independent of the EU on its own. In brief, the EU’s main goal was to obtain the status quo ante in Egypt. After it appeared inevitable that the Egyptian political situation would never stabilize around a national coalition, the EU prioritized security, the fight against political Islam, and prevention of state failure over mediation.33

After Morsi was sentenced to death on May 16, 2015 for breaking out of prison in 2011, the EU has been quick to criticize the Egyptian state. The EU immediately reacted to this sentence in a statement by Federica Mogherini on May 17, 2015, arguing that this decision “was taken at the end of a mass trial that was not in line with Egypt's obligations under international law.” She added that Egypt must ensure “defendants' rights to a fair trial and proper and independent investigations” and qualified this sentence as a “cruel and inhumane” decision that was an “unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.” While the United States and Turkey strongly denounced the court decision, the EU, however, has remained silent aside from this statement. Further, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized Europe and the West over it’s Egyptian policy, asking why the EU has been silent regarding this decision and does not impose sanctions on Egypt.36

Libya: The role of EU mediation under the international umbrella

The EU has encountered a great deal of difficulties in dealing with the Libyan regime after the Arab Spring. Strong disagreements amongst member states about the appropriate policies to adopt threaten the cohesion of a broader EU policy. Whilst France, Germany, and Great Britain committed themselves to the military effort to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, other member states remained in the background opposed to this action. These divergences first illustrate why a Task Force failed to be implemented in Libya at the beginning of the revolts: the country was more concerned with crisis management than with political dialogue. This shows that the EU failed to evaluate the needs for Libya’s transition: While the political stabilization of the country was more urgent, the EU emphasized political dialogue first. This was an obvious miscalculation on the EU’s part. The second reason explaining the EU’s lack of coherence in Libya is the absence of an EU delegation in the country, weakening information channels and rendering dialogue with civil society almost non-existent. In May 2011, Catherine Ashton inaugurated the first EU office in Benghazi, shortly followed by the first EU office in Tripoli in November 2012.37 Currently, a part of the EU’s delegation in Libya is based in Tunisia while some other staff has been sent back to Brussels.38 From a diplomatic point of view, Libya was not considered a priority by the EU before the Arab Spring, and this absence on the ground contributed to the failure of the EU’s mediation policy in Libya.

Libya experienced crippling instability in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s death. The newly elected regime sought to build an inclusive forum to draw up a new constitution; however, this was not without obstacles brought about by autonomous militias and armed groups.39 Therefore, the armed conflict surpassed the political divisions among Libya’s stakeholders who did not recognize each other. After the July 2012 elections, Islamists increased punitive measures against liberals and secularists. While prioritizing internal security, the interim government of 2013 launched a national dialogue but did not pass any democratic reforms. The regime sponsored dialogue but continued to implement authoritarian restrictions, resulting in civil war and the election of the General National Congress (GNC) July 7, 2014 for a one-and-half-year term. The regime decided to implement new elections in June 2014 to form the Council of Deputies, designed to replace the GNC; however, secularists won the elections, and the Islamists refused to give up the government. The GNC, with the help of the armed forces, seized Tripoli in August 2014, forcing the Council of Deputies to retreat to Tobruk. Currently, Libya has two governments and parliaments. Meanwhile, both parties have trouble finding the ability to govern because the state does not have the capacity to contain violence.40

Libya represented a real concern for Catherine Ashton. Before she left office in October 2014, she appointed Bernardino Leon special representative of the EU in Libya, angling the former functions of EUSR in the South Mediterranean toward conflict resolution. This institutional change illustrates how Libya became a regional priority for the EU’s diplomacy. However, because of the severity of the country’s instability and its possible threat to the international community, the Libyan crisis came to be managed by the UN rather than by the EU alone. These security concerns pushed mediation to the background in order to keep the peace talks more oriented towards multilateral cooperation under the UN umbrella. As Federica Mogherini assumed her position as High representative in 2014, Bernardino Leon was appointed as the UN special envoy to Libya. His role became more coherent, as he had worked on the ground for the EU before with facilitating the cooperation between the EU and the UN on the mediation process. Recently, he organized a mediation process gathering Libyan opponent officials, the General National Congress, and the House of Representatives elected in 2012 for peace talks in Geneva and in Rabat in March 2015. Neighboring countries participated in the peace talks as well. Morocco hosted the mediation process, Algeria offered support, and Egypt participated in the meeting with the EU, UN officials, and Tunisia in order to aide in negotiations between the two parties. Meanwhile, the member states remain committed to the mediation process. Several states, independent of the EU’s mediation process, have released statements under the European Council’s framework, expressing their worries about the Libyan security threat.

Currently, EU High Representative Mogherini is working hand-in-hand with the UN on the mediation process and has made Libya the EU’s first priority. She participated in a meeting in Washington on February 20, 2015 with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss Libya’s situation and to “firmly support the role of Bernardino León, UN Special Representative for Libya, in mediating for a national unity government.”41 Mogherini met the Libyan political parties in Algiers March 12, 201542 and declared again on March 20, 2015, “there is no other option [for Libya] apart from the dialogue. (…) The European Union is ready to support the dialogue process and the outcome in all possible ways.”43 She hosted Libyan local representatives in Brussels on the March 23, 2015. During this meeting, she stated, “a precondition for European engagement in Libya is the formation of a government of national unity”44 and emphasized the fact that military action needs to stop in order for the political process to properly function.45 However, maintaining the view that political transition remains in the hands of the Libyan leaders, she acknowledges the EU could only help them “to accompany this process, to make sure that it can succeed.” Meanwhile, the EU has “decided to prepare for all possible options to support an outcome of the political dialogue”46 —considering Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) options as well. The EU’s mediation role in the Libyan crisis remains strictly linked to the UN’s action. However, not all EU member states have decided to give full backing to the UN peace process. The EU member states have asked Federica Mogherini to fill this gap by drawing a “comprehensive strategy for Libya, taking into account the regional context.”47

Overall, the EU’s peace talks with Libyan officials have been criticized for being inconsistent: some observers argue that they do not represent groups and forces from Libyan civil society and are totally disconnected to the reality on the ground.48 Most parties have acknowledged that political agreements will not solve the problem of armed groups, but both Bernardino Leon and EU’s High Representative have declared that a national unity government is needed to strengthen security in the region to ensure a political transition in the countries and to counter the Islamic State in Libya. Nevertheless, regarding the ousting of the GNC Prime Minister Omar Al-Hassi on April 1, 2015, this dismissal could possibly constitute an open door for negotiations with the Tobruk government.49 At the end of the day, we cannot consider the EU’s efforts in the mediation process in Libya to have failed: The mediation process has simply transformed itself into a more multilateral framework that continues to influence the transition. The problem of the UN’s mediation role in Libya is that it does not take into account the reality on the ground. Meanwhile, the EU tries to deal with local representatives. High-level diplomatic mediation is not enough to solve the military conflict overwhelming Libya.


The EU’s mediation role is more efficient when countries are economically dependent on it. The EU can offer motives and economic opportunities to countries interested in these benefits, such as in the case of Tunisia. Conversely, it is much more difficult for the EU to appear as an international mediation actor in countries facing security crises than in countries where the EU’s influence has not been a priority since the beginning of the uprisings.
The EU’s mediation efforts illustrate a “glass half full” scenario, in the sense that mediation is not entirely recognized by the EU’s institutions and does not constitute a real comprehensive approach to conflict resolution.50 This can be partly explained by the fact that the member states are not willing to delegate their foreign policy competence and international status to EU diplomacy, which dramatically reduces the EU’s room for maneuver.51 The EU’s effort in mediation “has been shaped as much by the circumstances of a crisis-affected region as by the nature of European structures and policy.”52 In fact, the internal decision-making structure of the EU regarding foreign policy is highly dependent on each institution’s own dynamic. The High Representative cannot act freely without taking into account the orientations given by the European Council, the decision from the Council of the EU that gathers all the member states’ foreign ministers, and the financial and technical means of the Commission.53 Because of this intergovernmental decision-making process, mediation is not seen as a central tool of the EU’s foreign policy and, thus, lacks policy vision.54 Moreover, the institutional changes of the EU and its leadership influenced its strategy towards Arab Spring countries. While Catherine Ashton and Bernardino Leon were more concerned by the Egyptian situation, Federica Mogherini focused more on the Eastern Partnership and the Libyan crisis from a security point of view. Crisis management and security concerns have influenced a larger part of Mogherini’s agenda rather than mediation tools, and she has focused more on economic cooperation rather than on political dialogue.

Although the EU’s mediation process has had some impact on Arab Spring countries, the EU’s mediation role is still largely and inherently feeble, as it is up to each Arab Spring country to reconstruct its own internal political composition. It depends on the capacity of the country itself to compromise and to create a transitional government. If it is to be said that the EU failed in its mediation effort, it is because it did not differentiate between the political situations of the three countries and make other’s security concerns the priority of mediation. The EU used the same tools, such as high-level diplomatic meetings emphasizing consensual political solutions, with the same goal: ensure security at its borders. The EU considered democratization as a way to stabilize a country and coalition as a precondition for stability, which did not work in every case. On the contrary, mediation sometimes reinforced polarization. In order to help these countries build a stable democracy, the EU should have sought to help stabilize Arab Spring countries since the start, which does not always mean reaching political consensus first. Furthermore, if the EU’s commitment to mediation is also the political will of the Arab Spring countries, then it is also a way to maximize the EU’s economic interests. In this sense, a stable and democratic country will open more outlets for the EU and secure its border.


1 Geoffrey Edwards, “The Pattern of the EU’s Global Activity,” in International Relations and the European Union, ed. Christopher Hill and Michael Smith (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 52.

2 Susanne Gentz, “EU influence in conflict: power to mitigate or to mediate?” Oslo Forum, 2007, accessed April 27, 2015, 54,

3 Richard Youngs, “From Transformation to Mediation, The Arab Spring Reframed,” Carnegie Europe, 2014, accessed March 18, 2015, 3,

4 Ibid., 3.

5 The European Union, “Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community: Chapter 1,” December 17, 2007, OJ C 306,

6 Ibid., 57.

7 EU Mediation Support Team, “European External Action Service: Fact Sheet,” 2013, accessed March 28, 2015,

8 Roger Middleton, Paul Melly and Alex Vines, “Implementing the EU concept on Mediation: Learning from the Cases of Sudan and the Great Lakes,” The Royal Institute of International Affairs, accessed April 27, 2015, 15,

9 Gentz, “EU influence in conflict,” 59.

10 Antje Herrberg, “International Peace Mediation: A new Crossroads for the European Union,” EU Crisis Management Paper Series, DCAF Brussels-ISIS Europe, accessed April 27, 2015, 22,

11 The Council of the European Union, “Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities,” 2009, accessed March 28, 2015,

12 Youngs, “From Transformation,” 12.

13 Pol Morillos, “From Policies to Politics: The European Union as an International Mediator in the Mediterranean,” 23 Papers IEMed, Joint Series with Euromesco, 2015, accessed March 17, 2015, 19,

14 Ian Traynor, “Iran nuclear talks; Lady Ashton’s Geneva triumph takes center stage,” The Guardian, November 24, 2013, accessed May 11, 2015,

15 Middleton, Melly and Vines, “Implementing,” 14.

16 Fraser Cameron, “New EU trio is now complete: what’s next?” Euractiv, accessed April 27, 2015,

17 Jon Henley, “Emotional intelligence: a clincher in Lady Ashton’s diplomatic triumph,” The Guardian, November 25, 2013, accessed May 11, 2015,

18 Ibid.

19 Fraser Cameron, “New EU trio.”

20 Youngs, “From Transformation,” 7.

21 The European Commission, “EU/Tunisia Task Force agrees concrete assistance for Tunisia’s transition,” September 29, 2011, accessed March 27, 2015,

22 European External Action Service, “Déclaration du Président Barroso suite à sa rencontre avec Monsieur Mehdi Jomaa, Premier Ministre de Tunisie,” June 20, 2014, accessed March 28, 2015,

23 “Statement by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the adoption of the constitution and the appointment to the new government in Tunisia,” European External Action Service, January 27, 2014, accessed March 28, 2015,

24 “La HRVP Mogherini à Tunis pour soutenir les réformes et renforcer le partenariat privilégié UE-Tunisie,” European External Action Service, February 13, 2015, accessed March 28, 2015,

25 “Remarques introductives de la Haute Représentante et Vice Président Frederica Mogherini lors de la conférence de presse du Conseil d’Association UE-Tunisie,” European External Action Service, March 17, 2015, accessed March 28, 2015,

26 Youngs, “From Transformation,” 7.

27 Ibid, 8.

28 Morillos, “From Policies to Politics,” 24.

29 Ibid, 25.

30 The European Union, “Declaration on behalf of the European Union on the presidential election in Egypt,” June 5, 2015, accessed March 28, 2015,

31 The European Union, “Declaration on behalf of the European Union on the presidential elections in Egypt,” June 5, 2014, accessed May 11, 2015,

32 Morillos, “From Policies to Politics,” 27.

33 Kristina Kausch, “Egypt: The Free-Rider of Insecurity,” in Challenge for European Foreign Policy in 2015. How other deal with disorder, eds. Grevi Giovanni and Heoane Daniel (Madrid: FRIDE publications, 2015): 87-93.

34 “Frederica Mogherini on the Court decision against former President Morsi and more than a hundred individualism Egypt,” European External Action Service, March 17, 2015, accessed May 18, 2015,

35 Ibid.

36 “Turkey wants EU sanctions on Egypt after Morsi verdict,” Hurriyet Daily News, May 17, 2015, accessed May 18, 2015,

37 Delegation of the European Union to Libya, “Libya & the EU,” last modified March 27, 2015, accessed April 1, 2015,

38 Andrew Gardner, “EU struggles to find consensus on Libya,” European Voice, March 19, 2015, accessed April 1, 2015,

39 Youngs, “From Transformation,” 8.

40 Hafel Al-Ghwell, “What is not being discussed about Libya,” Al Jazeera English, March 16, 2015, accessed March 29, 2015,

41 “Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following the meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry,” European External Action Service, March 20, 2015, accessed March 27, 2015,

42 “Statement by High Representative/Vice President Frederica Mogherini on the meeting of the Libyan political parties in Algeria,” European External Action Service, March 12, 2015, accessed March 28, 2015,

43 “Remarks by High Representative/Vice President Frederica Mogherini following the European Council,” European External Action Service, March 20, 2015, accessed March 27, 2015,

44 Andrew Gardner, “EU offers ‘full support’ to Libya,” European Voice, March 20, 2015, accessed April 1, 2015,

45 “Remarks by High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherini ahead of the Libyan Municipalities Dialogue Meeting in Brussels,” European External Action Service, March 23, 2015, accessed March 28, 2015,

46 Ibid.

47 Andew Gardner, “EU struggles to find consensus on Libya,” European Voice, March 19, 2015, accessed April 1, 2015,

48 Morillos, “From Policies to Politics,” 20.

49 “Libya crisis: Head of Islamist Tripoli government fired,” BBC, March 31, 2015, accessed April 2, 2015,

50 Andrew Sherriff and Volker Hauk, “Study on EU lessons learnt in mediation and dialogue. Glass half full.” European Center for Development Policy Management, 2012, accessed April 27, 2015,

51 Middleton, Melly and Vines, “Implementing,” 14.

52 Ibid., 37.

53 Gentz, “EU influence in conflict,” 55.

54 Antje Herrberg, “International Peace Mediation,” 11.

 *Juliette Bisard, student in Sciences Po Grenoble (M2 European Governance)