In 2004, the South Caucasus states (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia) entered the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The policy is designed for the countries which are situated around the EU and have no EU membership perspective. The aim of the ENP is to develop the bordering states so that there is not much difference between the levels of prosperity of the EU members and non member neighbours. The EU would like to enjoy a ring of well governed countries, which are stabile with high levels of security. Thus, one could argue that the European Neighbourhood Policy is a kind of security policy as well, aimed at security promotion in the Union’s Neighbourhood. At the same time, one should not forget that the abovementioned neighbourhood is quite large geographical space and measures the North African states (Morocco, Algeria, etc); the Middle East states (Israel, Lebanon, Syria, etc.); the South Caucasian states and some East European states like Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. All these countries are different in terms of economic and social development, political orientation and stability. As stability is concerned, the South Caucasus can be evaluated negatively only. There are three (Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan/Armenia) post soviet ethno-political conflicts in the region. These conflicts hinder the countries to develop and encourage trans-national crime to grow. At last, the recent war in Georgia (August 2008) has underlined the instable character of the region in political terms. The South Caucasus is rich with natural oil and gas (the Caspian region); it has a very strategic location connecting Europe and Asia (TRASECA) as well as Russia and the Middle East. Accordingly, there are various international actors (major actors in the South Caucasus are: Russia, USA, and the European Union) with different interests concerning the region. Exactly these different interests and consequently different political behaviour made the South Caucasus confusing with little chance to make right political calculations. At the same time, this ambiguity made the regional conflicts frozen and complicated to solve. All these, surely, had its own impact on the EU’s policy towards the South Caucasus, and have shaped the uncertain character of the latter which I examine in the work. After the enlargement of 2004 and then, that of 2007, the EU’s interests towards the region grew soundly and stability in the South Caucasus became important on the Union’s political agenda. The latter has introduced the ENP to the region and tries to promote stability and peace in the South Caucasus via developing the countries politically and economically. Thus, the EU is a security promoter in the region, which tries to stabilize the area through providing only “soft” means – economic and technical assistance. Here, arises a question: is the above mentioned enough to reach the goal? Respectively, is the ENP (or could be) the right policy towards the South Caucasus as peace building and security is concerned?
European Union; EU; European Neighbourhood Policy; ENP; South Caucasus; conflict; conflict resolution; conflict management; peac