Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

How Free Trade Can Help Convert the 'Arab Spring' into Permanent Peace and Democracy


Author Info

  • Thorvaldur Gylfason
  • Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso
  • Per Magnus Wijkman


Since Jean Monnet conceived the Coal and Steel Community, free trade has successfully prevented serious conflicts in Europe between democratically governed States with market economies. After six countries established the European Community, this principle has been extended successfully to its immediate neighbours, successively enlarging the European Union to its current 27 Member States. The Union’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has through the Union for the Mediterranean and the Eastern Partnership attempted to further political stability and economic development by liberalising trade between the EU and its neighbours as well as among these neighbours themselves.The ‘Arab Spring’ initially improved the prospects for establishing political democracy and human rights in key countries. In response, the EU increased the emphasis in the ENP on supporting the democratization process in the Barcelona countries and on negotiating deep and comprehensive free trade agreements among the countries of the region as well as between each such country and the EU. Using a panel gravity model of trade, this paper estimates the potential for increased intra-regional trade among ten countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean coast of the EU. It attempts to answer the following questions. Between which groups of countries (e.g., Agadir countries, key actual/former belligerent countries in the Middle East) is this potential largest? Is it anywhere sufficiently large to provide an incentive for these countries to integrate much more closely with each other and with the EU? Can the prospect of such closer integration provide sufficient economic benefits to encourage progress in democratisation in key countries and resolution of conflicts between key participating countries? Or are stronger incentives needed?

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3882.

as in new window
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3882

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research


Find related papers by JEL classification:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Thorvaldur Gylfason & Per Magnus Wijkman, 2012. "Which Conflicts can the European Neighbourhood Policy Help Resolve?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3861, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bourdet, Yves & Persson, Maria, 2011. "Reaping the Benefits of Deeper Euro-Med Integration Through Trade Facilitation," Working Papers, Lund University, Department of Economics 2011:15, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  3. María Dolores Parra Robles & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Celestino Suárez Burguet, 2012. "The impact of FTAs on MENA trade," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 217, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Egger, Peter & Larch, Mario, 2008. "Interdependent preferential trade agreement memberships: An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 384-399, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3882. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.