In My Day: Arab Spring
There is little optimism left over from the Arab Spring, says Edward McMillan-Scott.
There is little greenery left in the Arab Spring. For those of us in EU policymaking circles who moved our attention to the Arab world from the newly-stable democracies of the ex-Soviet Bloc - whose transformation was assisted by the EU'S €160m Democracy and Human Rights Initiative (EIDHR) which I had founded in 1990 - there is little optimism today.
By 1996 we had established the MEDA Democracy Programme to flank the EIDHR. EU engagement evolved to include a joint EU and Arab parliamentary assembly.
In 2002 a major UNDP report on the Arab world found that the appetite for democratic reform was stronger there than anywhere. The EU's intention was to encourage reform alongside the US, spurred by US President Barack Obama's June 2009 Cairo speech.
As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak fell, I was the first outside politician to get to Egypt's revolution in early 2011 to greet my old friend Ayman Nour - the liberal leader imprisoned for standing against the dictator in 2005.
I sent a triumphant email around the European Parliament. As a relative of the architect of the first Arab uprising in 1916 - Lawrence of Arabia - I shared the world's optimism.
It has now been shattered as the agonies across North Africa, of Iraq, Palestine, Syria and the wider Arabian peninsula and beyond have overtaken reform.
Only in Tunisia, cradle of the Arab Spring, change continues.
If the EU really wants to stem the migrant crisis, it must again encourage democracy, human rights and the rule of law across the region.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has condemned the arrests of opposition leaders in Venezuela as unjustified.
Parliament's EPP group leader Manfred Weber has again called Turkey's EU talks to be suspended.
Regardless of who you talk to, everyone agrees: a strong register is important. But when it comes to practice, things start to look a lot bleaker, writes Margarida Silva.
The Peregrine falcon's down-listing is an opportune time to reflect on the CITES convention, writes Adrian Lombard.
We shouldn’t forget the importance of empowering educators in the fight against radicalisation, argue Alexandra Korn and Alexander Ritzmann.
If Europe is serious about fighting terrorism and extremism, the institutions of the EU need to be more actively engaged in the current situation involving Qatar, argues Richard Burchill.