Europe’s engagement with moderate Islamists
|Wednesday, May 6,2009 03:07|
|By Kristina Kausch*|
Direct engagement with Islamist political movements in the Middle East and North Africa has typically been a no-go for European governments. In recent years, however, the limits of sole cooperation with authoritarian rulers in the region have become increasingly obvious. European policy-makers have started to realise that they must widen their spectrum of interlocutors if their policies are not to lose track of the realities on the ground. In spite of widespread reservations regarding the democratic credentials of certain groups, there is a sense among EU member states that the inclusion of all relevant societal actors, and especially some form of greater strategic engagement with moderate Islamists, will be unavoidable.
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* Kristina Kausch is a Researcher at FRIDE"s Democratisation Programme and focuses on European policies of democracy promotion in the European neighbourhood. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of G?ttingen. Prior to joining FRIDE in 2004, she worked for several years on programmes of good governance and democratisation for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), and at the Bertelsmann Foundation.