The EU member states and the Eastern Neighbourhood - From composite to consistent EU foreign policy?

Schäffer, Sebastian ; Tolksdorf, Dominik


pdf-Format: Dokument 1.pdf (378 KB)

Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: CAP - Centrum für angewandte Politikforschung
Schriftenreihe: CAP Policy analysis
Bandnummer: 2009, 1
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2009
Publikationsdatum: 04.11.2010
Originalveröffentlichung: (2009)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.70 (Internationale Beziehungen: Allgemeines), 89.90 (Außenpolitik, Internationale Politik), 89.73 (Europapolitik, Europäische Union)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

Through several events the Eastern neighbourhood of the European Union became a focus of the EU foreign policy during the last couple of months. Since the war in Georgia in August 2008, there has been increased international interest in the south Caucasus region. The request for NATO membership by Kiev and Tbilisi as well as the gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine in January 2009 have led to controversial debates in Europe, the USA and elsewhere. Observing closely the role of the Russian Federation towards its neighbouring countries and the tensions and/or frozen conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, and Nagorno-Karabakh, the EU sees itself in a position to become more actively involved in the region. Besides stability aspects, the EU has various interests in the Black Sea region, among them the goal to secure and establish old and new energy transport routes. The major question, however, remains how the EU can become a more unified actor that is able to manage the future challenges in the region. The current EU policy towards the Eastern neighbourhood consists of various initiatives equipped with different instruments. Furthermore, the views among the EU member states of how to deal best with Russia and other states in the Black Sea region vary widely. In the future, the European Neighbourhood Policy (including complementary instruments like the Eastern Partnership) and the member states’ policies towards the Russian Federation and the Black Sea region therefore have to be coordinated more effectively. Some questions arise in this respect: in which ways do the EU member states have to adjust their bilateral relations with the countries of the Eastern neighbourhood in order to achieve this goal? How can such a strategy be harmonized with the rather technical instruments of the European Commission? How can the composite EU foreign policy be transformed into a more unified and consistent policy towards the Eastern neighbourhood? These questions were discussed during a workshop held at the Center for Applied Policy Research (C·A·P) in Munich on 25 and 26 June 2009. The C·A·P Policy Analysis consists of several papers that focus on specific topics related to the central questions of the workshop. In his paper on the role of the Euro-Atlantic community in the south Caucasus, Nasimi Aghayev, editor-in-chief of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs, analyses how to effectively counter the risk of Russia reasserting control in the region. He claims that in the absence of stronger Euro-Atlantic engagement and commitments, the states of the south Caucasus will become disillusioned with the Euro-Atlantic community and consider Russian interests and positions more frequently and earnestly in their policies and interactions with the West. This would inevitably lead to increased dependence on Russia (both economically and in terms of security) and gradual alienation from the West, thus substantially endangering Euro-Atlantic interests (primarily those of energy and security) in the region, resulting in the “Finlandization” – i.e. forcing the region’s states to seriously consider the “Russian” factor in all their interactions with the West – of the south Caucasus.

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