Regional cooperation and ‘frozen conflicts’ in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood and the Black Sea Region
The aim of this paper is to establish a causal relationship between the threat of ‘frozen conflicts’ in the former Soviet space and the evolution of regional cooperation by analyzing the bilateral and multilateral policies designed by the European Union in order to address security and democratic governance in the Eastern neighborhood. At first, we discuss the prospects for the development of multilateral cooperation between the EU and six Eastern countries by means of the Eastern Partnership policy. Then, we analyze how regional cooperation in the Black Sea Region has evolved under different cooperation frameworks, focusing on the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, the GUAM Organisation and the Black Sea Synergy. This section aims at establishing the main factors which advance or impede the progress of regional cooperation in the Black Sea Region. In the end, we discuss the proposal regarding a potential ‘EU Black Sea Strategy’ as a more coherent and more effective contribution by the EU to the build-up of regional integration and enhanced security in the post-Soviet space and the extended Black Sea Region.