Favouring transitions to democracy on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean was a key objective of the European Union and its member states when they prepared the Barcelona conference in 1995
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But European Neighbourhood policies have failed to promote democracy. While the authors remain sensitive to changes that ultimately may translate into greater participation and respect for civil liberty, they also set out to explain why certain short-term goals of the EU are undermining its democratic principles. However, the crucial question - especially after 9/11 - is whether the erosion of democracy in the North has affected the promotion of democracy in the South. Failure of democracy in the South may well be linked to the erosion of democracy on a global scale.