Extending the customs union between Turkey and the EU to countries in the Middle East and North Africa would make establishing a free trade area across the Mediterranean much simpler and eliminate disincentives to trade and investment.
Ruling elites in the Arab world should not conclude that an apparent lessening of public support for protests means that they can return to the status quo.
Leaders have fallen in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya amid the Arab Awakening, and calls for revolution continue across the region. But how much real change can actually be expected?
Given the economic problems facing both sides of the Atlantic, Europe and the United States can best support democratic transitions in Arab countries through enhanced trade agreements that improve market access and maximize job-promoting reforms.
The transitional governments in both Egypt and Tunisia must negotiate with their respective political parties and protesters to forge an understanding of what must be done in the next few months and what will have to wait until after elections.
Polarization in Tunisia may prove less divisive when writing a new constitution than many domestic and foreign observers fear.
As factions compete to form a new political system in Tunisia, it remains unclear whether the country will succeed in implementing long-term reform or stagnate in a political limbo.
Six months after the outbreak of protest in Tunisia, the Arab world has already been transformed. If Egypt succeeds in building a stable and open democracy, its example will have a significant impact on the rest of the region.
2011 has been a year of revolution, but the most important revolutionary message thus far has been the idea that people can rise up as a group and, in the case of the Middle East, successfully depose autocratic leaders.
The empowerment of the Arab public, coupled with the realization that change is possible through peaceful means, is a combination powerful enough to fundamentally change the whole region’s dynamic, even if that change does not happen quickly or smoothly.