The Middle East and North Africa: U.S. and European Response by Mehdi Vermerisch

By Mehdi Vermerisch

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S. and European non-governmental organizations with local civil society activists to encourage dialogue and partnership (along the lines of a forum organized by the EU in May 2012 that brought together Libyan and European NGOs). At the same time, experts have expressed concerns that associating a high degree of conditionality with democracy promotion policies could generate perceptions of Western interference or encourage regional partners to seek support elsewhere; on the other hand, the United States and the EU may not be able to influence intransigent decision- makers without insisting on coordinated aid conditionality.

The EU arms embargo expired on June 1, 2013, allowing member states to proceed according to their national policies with providing military equipment to the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces. Member states agreed to require adequate safeguards against misuse, and to refrain from supplying arms and related material until a review of the situation in August 2013. In September 2011, the EU imposed an embargo on Syrian oil and petroleum products and banned financing or insuring activities of the Syrian oil industry.

Cooperation on Police, Judicial, and Rule of Law Training. Both the United States and the EU have assisted a wide range of countries in political transition, from those of the former Yugoslavia to Iraq to East Timor, in developing their police and judicial services in line with the rule of law. Many observers point out that the EU in particular is well-suited to conducting such training, having developed the necessary institutional support structures and civilian capacities. S. and EU civilian and rule of law missions in countries like Afghanistan have been duplicative or disadvantaged by a lack of coordination; as such, they assert that it might be more beneficial for the United States and the EU to cooperate closely in designing and establishing any potential rule of law or police training missions for the MENA region.

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