How does Mediterranean Instability Affect the EU's Security and Energy Policy?
Libya and Algeria , two of the EU’s most important oil and gas suppliers, have been facing a period in which growing social and political complexity have emerged as threatening elements to their stability . Contradictions concerning democratization, transparency and good governance, usually regarded as ‘the lesser evils’ in autocratic regimes , have now become emergency issues. The esult is that today the EU considers the two countries necessary but unreliable partners – a judgment made even more significant in the light of the European Union’s policy aimed at the diversification policy of its energy supply. However, even though the Southern Mediterranean countries have become relatively less important compared to the Middle East and Central Asia, the EU does not seem to be willing or even in a position to give up its primacy in the Mediterranean area . The recent signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with Algeria and the growing efforts put in the Libyan transition process, combined with an awareness that neither China nor the US can rely on easy access to the area, increases the ambivalence of the EU’s foreign and energy policy . The EU’s future orientation will depend to a great extent on how events will turn in these two crucial countries.