The internet writer Fjordman has gathered together some of the materials relating to this project. His article is well worth reading in its entirety, but I'll list some of the key information for readers below:
a) Economic integration & open borders. A Common Strategy of the European Council (June 2000) includes the goal of assisting Arab partners with "the process of achieving free trade with the EU". In December 2003 three leaders of the EU signed a plan for "Strengthening the EU's partnership with the Arab World" which also included the creation of a free trade area.
The significance of these proposals for a free trade zone with the Arab world is made clear in a statement from the "Sixth Euro-Med Ministerial Conference" in Brussels, November 2003. According to this statement, the Arab partners have been offered the chance of "gradual integration into the expanded European internal market and the possibility of ultimately reaching the EU's four fundamental freedoms: free movement of goods, services, capital and people."
In May 2004 a Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two regions reiterated this offer, declaring that "Work is now in progress to develop an agreed view ... The EU can offer ... greater access to EU programmes and policies, including their gradual participation in the four freedoms particularly the Single Market."
b) Political integration. In March 2004 The Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly was created. It consists of 120 MPs from EU countries and an equal number of representatives from Arab countries. At present it is a consultative body with the right to comment on any subject of interest to the Euro-Arab Dialogue.
c) Cultural integration. This is the buttering up of Europeans to accept integration with the Muslim south. The EU has proposed: establishing a "Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures and Civilisations" and a Euro-Mediterranean journalism centre; developing "a harmonised education system"; "encouraging the circulation of individuals"; setting up a network of "Euro-Mediterranen Youth clubs"; establishing a "civil watchdog" anti-defamation observatory; reviewing European textbooks to remove "negative stereotypes" about Islam; reviewing school curriculums; and promoting "the contribution of Islamic civilisation to European culture".
This propaganda offensive explains the extraordinary comment of French President Jacques Chirac in 2004 that "the roots of Europe are as much Moslem as Christian". It's a bizarre statement in terms of real history, but "rational" if you are trying to foster the integration of Europe with the Arab world.
The civic nation
The move to integrate the EU with the Muslim world to the south is yet another reminder that civic nationalism doesn't work.
Before WWII, most Western nations were defined ethnically. A nation was thought of as a people with a common ancestry, language, religion, culture and history.
More recently, though, the West has moved to a civic nationalism, in which citizenship, rather than ethnicity, determines membership of a nation.
A civic nation is likely to become multiethnic and multicultural. New members of such a nation can come from any ethnic background as long as they are willing to pledge allegiance to a shared citizenship.
A civic nation, therefore, is likely to change radically in its inner composition, in its population.
For some people, this doesn't matter. It doesn't change their sense of national allegiance. They believe that the national identity they have won't change, or might even be enhanced by multiculturalism.
Australian readers will be familiar with the chorus of a song that is played endlessly on TV:
We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian.
Or take the views of "Karl" as quoted in a Bond University study:
Australia is a multicultural nation and I'm proud of it being a multicultural nation, I want to look after it and protect it and keep it the way that it is...
I can't help but think that these sentiments are naive. Once you move from an ethnic to a civic nationalism, not only are you likely to get a shift toward a multiethnic population, but the state you belong to itself is likely to change.
In other words, you get a shift not only of population, but of borders, which will place you within some other geographical "nation" (some other country) than the one you once belonged to.
After all, if nations can be formed out of any diverse group of people, then what's to stop the integration of existing nations if there's thought to be some political, diplomatic or economic advantage in doing so?
Already, the Australian Senate has discussed favourably the idea of forming a kind of Pacific nation, made up of Australia, NZ and a dozen smaller Pacific states.
Then there's the moves towards the integration of the US, Canada and Mexico.
The EU, though, is the prime example of how unstable a civic nationalism is. Nations which have existed for many centuries are being gradually subsumed within a European super state. And this state itself has already taken steps toward a further integration with the Arab world. And who knows what might follow?