The Role of the European Union and the United States in Armenia–Azerbaijan Peace Process: Shifting Gears with Optimism?

This article explores the recently found activism by two external actors – the European Union and the United States – in the post-conflict peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan following the 44-day Karabakh War. In doing so, the article briefly touches upon the background of the pre-war engagement of the two actors with regional security affairs and argues that today’s increased profile of the EU and the US represents a different situation from the habitual distant attitude displayed by both towards the security ailments of the South Caucasus. The recently found high profile of both the EU and the US also happens against the backdrop of geopolitical competition on the part of the Russian Federation, which has traditionally viewed the region as its ‘own backyard’. However, certain achievements brought about by the EU-led peace process and a comparatively active US engagement with the peace process allow observers to remain hopeful that, for the first time in many decades, peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan may be within reach. Can the EU and the US make a real difference with their newly found activism?

Authors: Esmira Jafarova