Tunisia: a test for the EEAS

The political situation in Tunisia is going to be an excellent test case for the newly created European External Action Service leaded by Lady C Ashton . All the elements are coming together :

  • Firstly, this is happening in our backyard: Tunisia is a neighbor of the European Union, member of the Union for the Mediterranean[1].
  • The latest citizen protest is a cause of worry for neighboring countries which fear similar protests could happen on their territory [*,*,*].
  • EU member states do not all have the same position toward Tunisia (for example, France has been mostly supportive of President Ben Ali’s regime [*])

This will test the ability of the EEAS to be the united voice of the EU on the world’s stage, while showing its influence in the immediate neighborhood Continental Europe.

I will be very attentive to the declaration and action taken by the EEAS, as well, and particularly, as which member state will play solo.

Note :

[1] Does this still exist ? There is not even a proper website for that (all I could find is that link and there’s not even an Arabic translation which would be the bare minimum for such a partnership)

Side note: @dicknieuwenhuis reminds me that the EEAS is tributary of the good will of the member states. He is, of course, right. The EEAS is worth defending, the position of the member states, which are calling for a strong Europe but fiercely defend their own point of view when they don’t agree, is not. A true and strong European diplomacy will need a more and more independent EEAS that will take position defending the European values without having to care for member states discretion.


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