The author’s mistake is thinking if only the EU was less complacent it would be actively “safeguarding democracy and democratic values”. Where does this notion come from that the EU is a font of democratic values? Why is anyone looking to the EU to help democracy?
The EU is formed from nation states that are democratic, but the vast majority of these states have been dictatorships in my lifetime. The EU itself has an executive that is not in any practical sense under democratic control. The EU regularly undermines its own nation states’ democratic governments when they conflict with the views of the Commission.
The EU is simply an expansionist technocratic empire, its logic no more and no less. For non-EU countries that are likely to be future members, the EU is all smiles and money. For countries that are not targets for joining there is indifference. For countries that reject the EU or otherwise complicate its expansionist plans, the EU will use what little external power it has to undermine those countries, just like it does with its own nation states.
Which brings us back to Tunisia. Much of North Africa is either societally incapable or simply unwilling to become client states of the EU. Chaos is the enemy of crafting a client state. Tunisia’s anti-democratic leader is not openly hostile to the EU and he is seen as an anchor against chaos. He is the EU’s best chance to create a client state out of Tunisia and that’s why the EU continue to support him.
Forget Tunisian democracy, there’s a future EU member to groom.
And oh the enrichment, just think of how excited the EU Technocrats must be about all of that…
I cannot see anyone wanting Tunisia in the EU
Tunisia is the largest recipient of the EU’s European Neighbourhood Instrument. 3 out of the 6 ENI objectives relate to integration with the EU of people, economy and government. The EU may not want Tunisia to join the EU but it is buying influence to make Tunisia subject to the EU’s rules, ie a client state.
After years of trying to create “client states” in the middle East, the world has proved your point about these areas being societally incapable or simply unwilling. These societies don’t separate religion and government. Their religion is the governing law, so democracy seems impossible in the first place.
You’re going to see this more and more. There will be 2 types of authoritarian rule in the future. strong man rule, and strong narrative rule. The strong man will be the autocrat, the strong narrative authoritarians are those who rule with tightly controlled information. Debate and disagreement will be allowed within certain parameters, but on nothing that the information controllers want to dictate. The strong narrative rule will pretend to be democratic, just, the good guys. This will be part of the narrative. What they want to promote will be good, and what they want to crush will be evil.
The author is delusion in believing that an avowedly technocratic and illiberal organisation that believes in increasing its own power through stealth would care at all about autocracies in the Third World. The Arab world is just returning to its default status quo of strong men. I don’t care if their western influenced youth want change. Most of them are in the West already in any event thanks to 50 years of mass immigration, so it is a moot point.
In the end, Ferjani’s message is simple: “If Europe wants help Tunisia, it needs to admit publicly that it is no longer a democracy.”
What makes the author think that the EU has anything to do with democracy?It is anti-democratic. Yes, occasionally so-called “member states” are allowed to vote, but if they vote the “wrong” way the Franco-German racket that is the Eurocracy makes them vote again.
It’s not the EU’s job to police Tunisia. Nor is it the job of the US.
Nor is it the EU’s or the US’s job to pick winners and losers or to support either one.
Victimhood is the lens through which all nations in the African continent must be viewed, and the narrative concerning all relations with Europe and North America. More MUST be done to further democratic development, followed by “outside forces” MUST stop interfering in the will of the people, as in the case of the Tunisian referendum approving autocracy.
Insisting these nations have agency is countered with the image of puppets manipulated by nefarious economic, political and cultural forces from beyond.
And if Europe doesn’t get it right to the satisfaction of its critics, then another mass movement of “refugees,” assisted by the people trafficking industry, will be on the move, armed with “human rights” and their army of advocates. “According to Ali, events in Tunisia now pose a danger to the whole of the (European) continent.” 2015 redux?
I’m no fan of the EU but I don’t quite see how it “Created” a dictatorship in this case.
There was a process, but during the last year, Macron recognised ‘popular legitimacy’ that over turned democracy, to no censure (how can you support democracy when a major state member does this with no comment?) it took polling as more important than institutional resilience, calling him popular based on questionable polls, and kept on pushing back on his popularity, even after Kais’s electronic referendum garnered very few people taking part after all the money and effort spent on it, by being silent when Kais’s takeover of the election commission effectively rigging the results by changing the proposed constitution midway through the referendum campaign,, and using his office to advertise for the referendum, outlawing the campaign to boycott, and making sure that everyone knew that outside scrutiny is interference. All the while they welcomed his call for elections and pre the referendum, their was pressure to get opposition members to take part risking their lives (Kais supporters were happy to mob a no campaigner calling his yes campaign treason). This of course excludes how Macron recently welcomed the results of the referendum with no censure from the EU again.. meanwhile record number of ‘Harraga’ illegal Tunisian migrants are increasing, with a security service demoralised underpaid, where sector reforms that take decades to show fruits are being unpicked, by a man seen as the answer to illegal migration coming to French Italian shores. A man who confuses a million and a billion, who takes his information from Facebook. All of this without going into EU funding of organisations that failed to support democracy.. and one, is now actively spreading conspiracy theories to conform with the new leadership.
Thank you for your explanation.
Perhaps democracy is a luxury only wealthy countries can afford.
If people identify their poverty with the dictatorship, they will feel that things will improve if they had democracy.
However, if, in reality, the poverty is due to having not enough to trade with, then democracy just leads to politicians promising things the country could never afford….and getting thrown out a few years later.
Perhaps democracy needs sufficient wealth to allow politicians to make achievable promises?
Democracy is a Western ideal and invention. Imposing it on others doesn’t seem to work.
I live in the South Pacific where democracy was installed by gun point. It’s consistently been upended. Think Fiji, Samoa and their recent histories. Democracy doesn’t fit with the tribal structures and loyalties.
When I first started reading this article I thought it would be about the death of EU democracy rather than that of Tunisian democracy. It is slightly ironic that the EU should pose as the custodian of Tunisian democracy.
None of this is ever likely to happen….a truly democratic Arab state aided and abetted by the EU. Never going to happen. LOL.
The insane EU-bashing continues. Apparently, the EU now is responsible for democracy in Tunisia. You could scarcely make this stuff up.
If reporting that the EU has helped destroy Tunisia’s democracy by supporting Kais Saeed’s rise and not pushing back on the recognition of ‘popular legitimacy’ by Macron, the enormous pressure on his opponents to risk their lives by taking part in a rigged referendum is bashing the EU.. then you’re right..
There’s little evidence here of the EU doing anything. The EU doesn’t have a unified foreign policy anyway. If we replaced the EU with Britain in the piece the commentators would be aghast at the idea that every Arab dictatorship needs to be overthrown or condemned by Britain. All you got is the EU didn’t censor Macron.