On the 10th of April, the Spinelli group of the the EU parliament organized a #SpinelliDebate in the Parliament. Central question was if the Arab Spring has failed? The EU was taken by surprise when the Arab world awoke, as demonstrated by the uncoordinated national responses rather than a European response. This situation highlights the need for a better structured and more focused EU policy approach in order to participate to the emergence of a more stable and democratic Arab world. Today the Arab world’s new political elites are facing the double challenge of satisfying popular pressure for democratic governance and an economic and social crisis. Have the Arab Spring protests calling for democracy and economic justice, just come and gone?
The mainspeakers in the Parliament were Néguib Chebbi, Leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (Tunisia), Mahmud Gebril, Interim prime minister of Libya during the civil war and former chairman of the National Transition Council. Guy Verhofstadt, Spinelli MEP, President of the ALDE Group, Isabelle Durant, Spinelli MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament.
'For the new governments in power in the NA (North Africa) it takes a long time to build the institutions. First they have to build confidence and legitimacy.' According to Isabelle Durant.
Gebril says that those who read history know we are in the introductory fase. We should build on the strategic partnership between the EU and the NA. Because the stability of NA en the EU are at stake here. We can say that the Libyan Revolution started at in the EP (European Parliament). Everything was so hasty, a revolution like this is unknown in the region. We can say that a new generation stood up with new value systems. This new culture will bring about the change we need, it will determine the regimes. But the revolution caused a vacuum, because there wasn't an alternative, people were looking for freedom in the streets. Now for my country I (Gebril) can say the we live in a stateless society, we need to be open for national dialogue and search for consensus. We are sure that the “.com” generation will reject all old ideologies.
Chebbi: 'Our economical system has failed, the highest educated young people are the most underemployed. We recognize that 60 tot 70% of the people of NA are young people. It's normal that the fire that started in Tunisia has propagated around the MENA. Even the opposition in Tunisia was caught by surprise, there was no alternative, only a big vacuum. It was important to safe the state and to change the political regime. Now we have to reorganize our economical and political system. It was a revolution for reforms. Tunisia is in the mist, I (Chebbi) don't think the revolution has failed.
Gebril: 'It is important to integrate the Arab youth into the political process, the Arab Spring will fail if we don't give them a future.'