Le test de l’Europe en Afrique du nord

LONDRES – La réaction de l’Europe face aux révolutions historiques en Afrique du nord a vacillé entre euphorie et crainte. L’instinct naturel à célébrer et à soutenir la démocratisation à travers la Méditerranée fut tempéré par des inquiétudes sur l’éventualité d’une propagation de la crise sur les côtes européennes.

Quelques dirigeants ont évoqué un type de Plan Marshall post-seconde guerre mondiale comme modèle pour une assistance européenne au développement à grande échelle pour la région dont l’objectif serait d’assurer la viabilité de l’évolution démocratique et de générer des bénéfices politiques et économiques à long terme pour l’Europe. Mais plus généralement, la réaction a été bien plus craintive : la presse et les hommes politiques partout dans l’Union Européenne sont obsédés par la menace de vagues de migrants à leurs frontières.

Une telle menace ne devrait pas être prise à la légère. La controverse autour des migrants tunisiens en Italie fragilise déjà les fondations politiques de la libre circulation autorisée par la zone Schengen ; tandis que la guerre en Libye pourrait entrainer le départ de milliers de civils supplémentaires fuyant la violence et recherchant une protection internationale.

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