The civil war in Syria, the fight against the jihadists in Mali, the power struggle in Egypt, and the refugee drama in the vicinity of Lampedusa create a negative picture of the upheavals in the Arab world. Many Europeans are of the opinion that something which began in a state of euphoria in 2011 is now descending into chaos. It makes them inclined to look the other way, and to be in favour of a barrier between themselves and their neighbours on the southern shore of the Mediterranean. These negative impressions obscure the fact that Europe’s Arab neighbourhood is in many ways rather diverse. This is demonstrated by the current Bertelsmann Transformation Index 2014 (BTI). The BTI analyses make it possible from 2003 onwards to compare the level of development in states moving towards democratization and a more equitable social market economy.