chapter  1
Introduction: the European Union’s foreign policy “actorness and power”: foundations of and challenges for a comparative research design
Pages 38

This chapter focuses on European Union's(EU) Neighbourhood Policy in the context of it's response to the Arab Spring in 2011 and compares the EU's responses to those of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in order to clarify the distinctiveness of the EU as an actor. The chapter describes the policy of the EU and NATO towards their southern neighbours. It builds on a series of interviews conducted with NATO and the EU in March 2013, as well as an empirical study of official government documents and reports. NATO's outreach in the Middle East and North Africa(MENA) region has complemented by its Training and Cooperation Initiative in 2006. The decisions made in NATO as an immediate reaction to the Arab Spring, indicate that NATO's partnership policy towards MENA region is progressed to the certain level. NATO's partnership policy provides a framework for political consultations on the general security development with an aim of preventing crises and contributing to the management.