Peace-building in the South Caucasus through the Eastern Partnership: What is the new role for the EU?

Acknowledging the increasing security challenges in Eastern Europe, this article aims to analyse the European Union’s (EU) policy vis-à-vis the South Caucasus states in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. The author argues that the EU’s external governance toolbox has had a limited overall impact on conflict resolution in the South Caucasus countries. Meanwhile, recent developments in Ukraine have increased the political responsibility and engagement of the EU and its Member states with respect to acting to protect its founding values as the Russian Federation irreversibly threatens regional and global security. This article concludes that the EU has revised its European integration framework towards Georgia, taking into consideration the increasing security challenges in the region, and has initiated a ‘European membership perspective’. With regard to the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the EU’s expanded role as a mediator of this process is considered to be a contribution of the EU to peace-building.

Authors: Gvantsa Davitashvili