The EU and Arab regionalism

Authored by: Silvia Ferabolli

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the relations-making process between the EU and the Arab region. It focuses on two often neglected aspects involved in the analysis of the politics and economics of Euro–Arab relations: the League of Arab States’ active role in the institutionalisation of these relations, from the initiation of the Euro-Arab Dialogue in the 1970s to the first LAS-EU Summit in 2019, and the underpinning impact of the Barcelona Process on the Arab struggle to constitute a free trade area and to attract foreign direct investment to the region. It argues that the development of Euro–Arab relations indicates both the LAS’ capacity to project itself as the international representative of the 22 self-declared Arab states and its authority to negotiate with other world regions on behalf of these states. It also asserts that the move towards the constitution of a Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area hinders Arab efforts to coordinate their economic policies and that the Barcelona Process has not had the expected positive effects on the growth of European FDI in the Arab world.

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