Barbora Tallová and Luca Mariano Mariano
The European Union ‘is ready to play its part in Syria’s reconstruction and reconciliation, as soon as a genuine political transition is firmly underway’. More than ten years into what continues to be described as the most devastating humanitarian crisis of our time, the EU still struggles to articulate clear policies towards Syria. Throughout the conflict, its efforts have been hindered by the need to balance the member states’ political and economic sensibilities, pressures exerted by foreign actors, and failure to transpose its rhetoric into action. Today, Europeans continue pursuing the unfeasible dream of implementing democracy through regime change, leaving the Syrians with yet another policy approach ill-suited for current realities—while war still lingers, Syria’s leadership has already been decided in favour of the al-Assad regime. The EU should aim to create conditions that allow a Syrian civil society to emerge by addressing the damages of war and restoring the country’s deteriorated social fabric. We argue that for the political transition to be made possible, the European ‘more’ of the ‘more for more’ approach needs to come first.
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