‘It’s the economy, stupid!’ – EU neoliberal reforms and democracy promotion in Egypt
The European Union’s approach and support to the MENA has mainly focused on economic stability and neoliberal reforms. Several scholars argued that these neoliberal policies exacerbated the people’s despair over their own economic situation, partially causing the Arab Uprisings on 2010/11. Nonetheless, in the years after the Uprisings, the EU continued to emphasise the promotion of “deep democracy” in combination with economic reforms. By analysing the European Union’s Single Support Framework for Egypt for 2017-2020, this article shows that economic development and the implementation of neoliberal reforms still remain the focus of the EU’s approach to the region. Moreover, the EU assumes a spillover effect from economic development to democratisation by equating these two.