Some have criticized Europe for responding slowly to the upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt, though the EU was quick to condemn Libya's violence.
Daniele La Monaca/AP
Europe's proximity to North Africa makes revolution in the Arab world of obvious and enormous significance. The speed of change in Tunisia and Egypt caught Europe unprepared and slow to respond – though European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton quickly responded to violence in Libya, calling it “unacceptable.”
For the most part, however, the euphoria and ingenuity of the young, tech-savvy revolutionaries and their calls for dignity, jobs, and the end of police states initially filtered to Europe through a layer of caution and worry. The first EU ministers' meeting on the subject took place Feb. 20, and a “new partnership” with Egypt and Tunisia was promised. Prior to this, a divided EU mostly watched as Western response got shaped by the US.
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