Peacebuilding in the South Caucasus: What can the EU contribute?
This paper is aimed at motivating and informing discussion within the EU institutions and member states on the nature of their engagement in the South Caucasus.
It suggests priority areas for political dialogue and external assistance programming under the upcoming EC country and regional strategy papers. It argues that unless authorities and civil society in the region, supported by the international community, genuinely address the root causes of violent conflict, societal instability and distrust, then broad-based development and prosperity will remain beyond reach.
The finalisation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans in 2006, the elaboration of subsequent assistance plans and the continuation of political and economic dialogue offer a number of opportunities.
For the authorities and people of the region, there is the potential to start to lay stronger foundations for sustainable socio-economic development and create better livelihood opportunities for more people. They can seize the chance to build on the benefits of the partnership in the European Neighbourhood.
For the European Union, dialogue and monitoring on governance, security and economy issues, accompanied by well targeted assistance, can help motivate greater interest in regional peace and co-operation, thus increasing the EU’s own prosperity and security.