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Amid all of this strife, the international community has paid little attention to countries such as Algeria, where the revolutionary spirit was stifled while still incipient. But Algeria's fate is back on the world's radar – and not a moment too soon.On Feb. 7, Algeria's parliament approved a new package of constitutional reforms, which among other things, limit presidents to two terms (President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika, the last surviving leader of Algeria's war of independence against France, has been in office since 1999) and recognize some fundamental freedoms. Significant external challenges have exacerbated Algeria's situation.To avoid such an outcome, Algeria's government must work fast to diversify the economy. But such concerted action will be difficult in the current political environment, especially in view of the government's increased focus on security challenges in Algeria's neighborhood.For the European Union, a further strengthening of ties with Algeria is particularly important, given both sides' interest in the stability of nearby North Africa and the Sahel, as well as Algeria's potential to help improve the EU's energy security.If the government acts to unblock the political system, diversify the economy, and ramp up diplomatic efforts, Algeria can emerge stronger and more influential than ever.
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