Many European observers had initially hoped the Arab Spring would lead to similar democratic outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa as occurred in the 1990s across Central and Eastern Europe, but we now know it did not. According to Freedom House, the countries in the MENA region are less free now than they were before the protests began. Libya and Syria are de facto failed states, and Egypt is under military rule; Tunisia is the lone exception. Meanwhile, those regimes that stayed in power have pursued policies of repression, co-optation and cosmetic democratic reforms to maintain control while also avoiding censure from Europe.
The EU had voiced criticism against this strategy nor has it become involved in a possible democratic [...] Read the full text here on Europe's World.