The debate on the construction of Europe would have succeeded had it taken place before the expansion of the UE to 25 members (some would think, not without reason, before the entry of the United Kingdom!). This is the inherent dysfunction of a referendum over a de facto situation, one of a scale so large that- in the end-it will still remain undefined. The South continues to give attention to that debate which will mean forceful geopolitical changes throughout the world south of the Mediterranean.
Historically, the Mediterranean is a single entity dating back to great antiquity. The Berbers had uninterrupted contact with the people of the North, certainly exchanging “knocks,” but also goods, knowledge, culture and civilization. Geopolitics and history make it more evident that our Europe is a natural partnership.
The process of the European Union’s political integration fascinates the peoples of the Maghreb and offers the North African aspiration for unification a very valuable reference. We should be inspired by this experience, to compensate our delays, capitalizing on a multi-millennium past of blending, a continuity which is at the same time territorial, ethnic, linguistic and cultural. Basically, our essential differences are due only to the diversity of our respective colonial routes. However, the successive failures of attempts at unification have increased Maghrebian pessimism. In the Maghreb, this is occurring just as it is in Europe. The real road to integration lies in institutional modernization.
The hyper-power has demonstrated its limitations, and even China, Russia or India do not carry significant weight. In the medium term, only Europe is able to constitute the counterbalance so necessary for more balance and security in the world. Europe can not escape its triple challenge: to achieve the conditions for a political union, to assist those countries south of the Mediterranean in the setting-up of states of law along a truly democratic paths, and, lastly, to contribute to halting the real risk of a “Mid-easternization” of North Africa.
It is necessary to reactivate the process of Euro-Mediterranean and Maghrebian discussion. It must be kept in mind, for our part, the previous implementation and practices of good governance. On its part, Europe must transform its foreign administration that usually confuses non-intervention with indulgence, sacrificing its values at the altar of “short term” business interests. This attitude goes against the idea and the democratic struggle in the rest of the Muslim countries. Do clauses relating to democratic freedoms and good governance appear in Article 2 of the association agreements only in form? Indulgence on the part of partners who do not respect these are as shocking as intervention. It is a lack of loyalty between partners.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

" The Europe We See, the One We Await,” by Sid Ahmed Ghozali and Mohamed Mzali, Le Figaro, May 19, 2005.