The article moves beyond the debate about the continuity and change in EU policy-making towards post-uprisings North Africa to explain the way in which the relationship evolved in the case of functional areas and notably security cooperation. Specifically, this article argues that persistence in the EU’s approach did not necessarily entail continuity in EU-Tunisia and EU-Morocco interactions on security. Rather, there have been changes in the continuity and continuity in the changes that took place. It is often assumed that the relationship is unidirectional and that target countries can simply choose either acquiescence or resistance. The post-uprising reality shows that domestic events in Tunisia and Morocco had an impact on how they approached the EU and how, in turn, the EU reacted to them. There is therefore what can be called a feedback loop that makes relationships more complex and ‘individualised’ than previously assumed.
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Research for this article was carried out in the framework of the research project ‘BORDERLANDS: Boundaries, Governance and Power in the European Union’s Relations with North Africa and the Middle East’, funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under Grant Agreement Number 263277. The project, which ended in March 2017, was hosted at the European University Institute and directed by Raffaella A. Del Sarto.
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Zardo, F., Cavatorta, F. Friends will be friends? External–domestic interactions in EU-Tunisia and EU-Morocco security cooperation after the uprisings. Int Polit 56, 678–696 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-018-0158-9