EU Parliament calls for trade to build democracy in Arab Spring countries

The EU must do more to promote democracy and stability in its southern Mediterranean neighbourhood by boosting mutually-beneficial trade relations in the wake of the Arab Spring, says European Parliament. Efforts should be focused on small businesses as the main drivers of job creation and wealth. In a report on the EU’s trade for change policy in the Southern Mediterranean, adopted on May 10th 2012, MEPs demand greater efforts by the EU and Member States to support the transition to democracy in the Arab Spring countries. The report highlights poverty as “a persistent evil in the countryside” and stresses that “chronic unemployment” affects young people in particular, with 45% of Tunisia’s university graduates, for example, being jobless. Parliament points to the new opportunities created by the overthrow of most of the region’s dictators to develop a true market economy. The EU must, it says, use its exclusive competence over trade and investment policy “to provide an effective response to the upheavals and to contribute to economic and social progress in the Southern Mediterranean countries”.

For reading the adopted text click here.

Source: EU Parliament web site.