Brussels has promised more to help fledgling democracies in the Arab world, but insisted strings would be attached.
In particular, aid will be dependent on the scale and speed of democratic reforms.
As part of its ‘Neighbourhood Policy’, the EU’s top brass pointed out that criteria, such as the quality of elections, would be a key to the level of its backing.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said: “The clear objective is to support the democratic and economic aspirations of the 400 million people in this area. These developments in the Arab world are of crucial importance for all G8 partners. For Europe moreover it is our southern neighbourhood. We have to listen to those people and to offer our support.”
From the Group of Eight summit euronews’ Miguel Sardo reported. ‘‘This G8 summit in Deauville, is a perfect opportunity for the European Union to review its relationship with nations in North Africa and the Middle East. Brussels is also showing with its new neighbourhood policy that it wants to talk with the civil societies of these countries. At the same time however, and perhaps more importantly, it avoids the thorny issue of the economy, an area in which Brussels currently finds itself on the back foot.’‘