This report aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the EU’s strategy to promote human rights and democracy in Egypt. Largely based on instruments devised within the framework of the EMP and ENP, the EU wishfully counted on a spill-over effect from trade to political reform as well as onto actors’ socialization. This strategy fell prey to Mubarak’s “carrot-and-stick” approach to the nascent NGO sector and its adjusted policy discourse that resonated with Brussels. Drawing upon Mubarak’s mistakes, the post-Revolution regime morphed into an overtly repressive apparatus designed to “kill” civil society and prevent a new 25 January. In this context, is engaging at all costs in political dialogue relevant? Did the EU foreign policy manage to follow suit with Egypt’s political evolution? How can the EU draw upon its past mistakes to craft a more efficient approach to human rights? How can the EU’s economic and political leverage be best used?

Read the full MEDRESET Working Paper