Appeared in print on 10.01.2013
There was little hint of spring left of the Arab uprisings in 2012. The civil war in Syria was the headline issue and by the year’s close up to 60,000 Syrians had been killed. For much of the year, the EU focused on agreeing new sanctions on the regime of Bashar Assad, closing loopholes in old ones and reaching out to the opposition. By the end, though, the unity was fraying, with France and the UK pushing for more robust action – perhaps with less interest in intervening militarily (public pressure has been limited) than in positioning themselves for the post-Assad era.