Union de la Méditerranée : a will of commitment

The Union of the Mediterranean Sea: a Will of Commitment.

The election of Nicolas Sarkozy aroused an unprecedented interest in the United States, within the administration but also within the civil society and the media which are enthused in front of this new breath embodied by the President and promising of an improvement of the transatlantic relations. However, certain positions of the French President, as the creation of the Union of the Mediterranean Sea and the refusal of the entrance of Turkey to the EU, raise interrogations amid observers across the Atlantic Ocean.

Partisan lovers of the entrance of Turkey in the European Union to anchor their ally in the modernity and strengthen one of the only laic and democratic States of the region, the United States worry, rightly, about effects that could have a refusal of Ankara. Analyses predicting a rise of the Islam, a collapse of the modernistic strengths, do not so miss besides the Atlantic Ocean and at certain partisans of the joining process in France.

Washington has to understand the evident limits which would impose the integration of a country so important for the construction of credible political Europe. Besides, the long and binding process of entrance in the European Union has already entailed the frustration of a part of the population seeing only hypocritical pretexts there to maintain Turkey aside. On the other hand, Brussels rules are denounced by an increasing number of Turks as serving an operation of the Islamists to blow up the bolts of the secularism and reduce the weight of the army, guarantor for the kemalist inheritance. As the recent confusions bound(connected) to the Islamist candidacy of foreign secretary Abdullah Gül in the presidential election showed, the process of membership and its very numerous criteria were mostly used by the AKP party in power to weaken the pillars of the Turkish Republic, touching up to the president, the defender of the constitution today.

It's time to recognize that while the credible perspective of a membership goes away because of the opposition of the European public opinions, the process seems itself to have perverse effects which we would not know how to ignore. In the name of the realism, Washington has to understand that the integration of Turkey in the Union of the Mediterranean Sea is the only way allowing its ally to play completely its role of regional power and democratic model in the Muslim world. This union is not a refusal: it is an alternative to the current policy which consists in pushing away without credible term the Turkish candidacy, creating only frustration and resentment in Ankara.

Far from being in opposition with the objectives of Washington, the Mediterranean Union so brings a realistic solution of a common vision based on the promotion of the state under the rule of law, the tolerance to the Middle East, the cooperation on the questions of safety and the empowerment of the populations of the region. The United States have to understand that the opposition of the French and German governments represents the majority and durable feeling of the European populations. Far from expressing a spirit of closure, this position is the expression of a will to build Europe on an identity and well defined borders.

The union of the Mediterranean Sea comes to recognize the central, strategic and cultural role that the Turkish democracy has to play in the region beside country as Morocco, Algeria or still Israel in the religious dialogue, the reform of Islam, as well as the cooperation on the questions of security and terrorism. But the creation of the Union of the Mediterranean Sea has not only for objective to be an alternative in the entrance of Turkey in the EU: Its ambitions are wider and answer the necessity of rethinking the relations between Europe and Africa.

The failure of the EuroMed dialogue, introduced 12 years ago in Barcelona, obliges to rethink the frame of the partnership with the Mediterranean Sea. Mined by the centralization of the economic resources and the powers, the countries of the Middle East need more than ever a new breath in their economic relations with Europe. Quite as the ALENA encouraged in a determining way the development of country as Mexico by facilitating the liberalization of the exchanges in North America, the Union of the Mediterranean Sea will be a formidable tool of development and prosperity in the region. She will allow more than an intensification of the already existing diplomatic and military relations. By supporting the policy of the co-development, at the heart of Nicolas Sarkozy's project, the Union of the Mediterranean Sea will play a determining role in the control of the migratory streams and the cooperation in this sector, answering the anxiety of numerous Europeans. The Union of the Mediterranean Sea cannot work if it remains an intellectual project without concrete substance: it will arouse the support of the peoples only if it brings concrete answers to the daily difficulties on the health or education issue. In this respect, the creation process of the Union has to be the occasion to begin a necessary thinking on the future of the relation of both banks of the Mediterranean Sea, the hopes and the perspectives for each people.

By renewing its relation with the countries of the Middle East, the Union of the Mediterranean Sea will be a new springboard for the diplomatic presence of France in the region. Exceeding a " Arabic policy " out of breath and widely fanciful, the Union of the Mediterranean Sea will come to encourage the creation of a long-term community of interests rather than the excessive customization of the relations. France can finally push with all its weight in the resolution of the Palestinian Israeli conflict or still the Lebanese crisis, so many files on which Nicolas Sarkozy's leadership is waited by his partners. As Europe was built at instigation of the German French engine, The Union of the Mediterranean Sea will need an avant-garde, a visionary leadership. In the side of Turkey, Morocco and Israel, France has to play this driving role to allow the emergence of new perspectives for the peoples of the Mediterranean Sea. These three countries can be the mainspring of a reconciliation of the region, torn by decades of conflicts, distrusts and closures.

The difficulties America faced in Iraq have to urge the US to support such an initiative, which would allow, by a constructive commitment of Europe in the region, to put an end to a so expensive regional status quo, to promote the peace and the political opening. Europe, by the voice of France, has to take its responsibilities and go out of a posture of sterile denunciation and of opposition to Washington’s policy to be transformed into power impulse and proposition.

Aucun commentaire: