The first six months of this year have not been easy for the Egyptian economy, and the situation is likely to worsen amid a drop in tourism revenues, low levels of domestic and foreign investments, and scarce employment opportunities in the formal private sector.
Rather than continuing with the reform rhetoric heard in many Arab countries, rulers who wish to remain in power must engage in serious, measurable, and inclusive efforts at real reform.
While Jordan's potential membership of the GCC seems comprehensible, the same rationale does not apply to the Moroccan case because of the country’s distant geographical location, its weak economic ties with the Gulf, and its 32-million population.
In the wake of the Arab Spring, some countries, like Egypt and Tunisia, are in the process of a real democratic transformation, while others, like Libya, Yemen, and Syria, are in deep crisis.
While Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and its new Freedom and Justice Party have gone to lengths to clarify their stances on social issues and the relation between religion and the state, they must further clarify their relationship to each other and allow the party a sufficient level of independence.
Islamist parties in Egypt and Tunisia are emerging as powerful political players in each country’s transition. Upcoming elections in both countries and the performance of Islamist parties once they are in office will determine their future role in formal politics.
The transformations underway across the Middle East present both an opportunity and a challenge for U.S. policy in the region, as new actors enter the political stage with positions, goals, and political weight that are still difficult to judge.
Jordan and Morocco's prospective membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council could ease political and socio-economic tensions in the two monarchies, therefore reinforcing the Gulf's economic and strategic interests and security.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s tight control over the Freedom and Justice Party could produce tension between those seeking large numbers of votes for the party and others who wish to focus on fulfilling the Brotherhood's mission.
The European Union’s response to the dramatic events in Egypt has shown that in a fast-moving environment the Union has difficulty reacting in the way required of a serious global player.