This chapter seeks to map out the European Union (EU)’s relations with Lebanon since the 1965 Trade and Technical Cooperation Agreement. The chapter points to the strength of these relations and outlines major areas of cooperation between the EU and Lebanon (economic, political and security) – thus making the EU a strategic partner to Lebanon. With the Arab uprisings, the EU’s focus shifted to the Syrian refugee crisis and its management in the neighbouring countries, that is Lebanon. This emphasis on the Syrian refugee crisis is driven by the EU’s fear that those refugees might seek asylum in EU countries. Furthermore, the chapter highlights the wary response of the EU and its Member States (MS) to the ongoing crisis that erupted with the 17 October 2019 protests against the deteriorating economic situation and corruption of political elites. The chapter emphasises that despite this broad agenda, the focus of the EU has been on economic development and security, which dominated these relations not only prior to the Arab uprisings, but also afterwards. The chapter shows how Lebanon’s heterogeneous sectarian system that resulted in a rather failed state has influenced EU–Lebanon relations and blocked the economic and political reforms agreed with the EU.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations|
|Editors||Dimitris Bouris, Daniela Huber, Michelle Pace|
|Place of Publication||UK|
|Publisher||Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|