In response to the regime breakdowns in some Arab countries, the European Commission suggested a ‘New Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean.’ When explaining this strategy in an article published in The New York Times on 25 February 2011, Catherine Ashton (2011), then High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, emphasised that the European Union (EU) is

determined to help Tunisia, Egypt and other countries not just to start their journey toward democracy, but to complete it […] That will involve detailed, unglamorous, work on the ground – with civil servants, local communities, the police, army and judiciary – laying the foundations of deep democracy and then building it up, brick-by-brick.