(046) A “RESET” WITH ALGERIA: THE RUSSIA TO THE EU’S SOUTH Cover Image

(046) A “RESET” WITH ALGERIA: THE RUSSIA TO THE EU’S SOUTH
(046) A “RESET” WITH ALGERIA: THE RUSSIA TO THE EU’S SOUTH

Author(s): Hakim Darbouche , Susi Dennison
Subject(s): Energy and Environmental Studies, International relations/trade
Published by: ECFR European Council on Foreign Relations
Keywords: EU–Algerian relations; energy supplier; Algeria;
Summary/Abstract: There are striking similarities between the ways that Algeria and Russia have handled the EU, particularly since Abdelaziz Bouteflika came to power 12 years ago. Like Russia, Algeria is an important supplier of energy – in particular, natural gas – to Europe. As a result, it has traditionally enjoyed stronger relations with key member states, especially its energy clients, than with the EU as such. But Algeria’s current sense of vulnerability in a dramatically changing region presents a potential opening for increased European engagement and, over the long term, influence. It is important that the EU’s attention does not remain focused only on the other countries in the region that have been affected by the Arab revolutions in more obvious ways. The EU is currently revising its European Neighbourhood Policy. But if Algeria does not engage fully with it, there is a risk that it could be isolated. However, the shifts currently taking place in Algeria and its neighbourhood create an opportunity for a “reset” in EU–Algerian relations. Such a reset could increase the EU’s ability to influence the course of domestic events in Algeria by using engagement to support economic modernisation and spread the rule of law. Over the longer term, as confidence builds on both sides, the EU could use a more functional relationship to increase its voice on the need for political reform.

  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • Language: English