Ph.D. (Political Sciences), Associate Professor
Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Institute of International Relations
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
Abstract. The article deals with examining the EU main approaches on crisis management and conflict prevention on the example of the Eastern Partnership countries, internal and external factors that affect implementation of the EU activities in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus, implications for the EU and the region.
The EU has a unique experience of activities in all crisis phases: early warning, mediation, deployment of EU missions and operations in conflict areas, post-conflict peacebuilding (stabilisation, reconstruction and reconciliation). The EU’s comprehensive and integrated approach towards crisis management includes a package of mixed political-military measures with focus on civilian component of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The strategic autonomy outlined as the guideline in the EU Global Strategy 2016 is an impetus for the EU more active and distinct role as a security actor, for enhancing its institutional and operational capabilities in the area of crisis regulation. Though there is a lack of EU capacity as a security provider in case of protracted conflicts in Eastern partner countries. The EU has sought to avoid direct involvement in conflict settlement: there aren’t any efficient mechanisms of it within the European Neighborhood Policy and Eastern Partnership initiative.
The determining factors of the EU’s approach to conflict resolution in Easter Europe are: absence of direct military threats and less challenges comparing to Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region; lack of political will and unity, multi-vector member-states’ policy; external influence of other actors, mainly Russia, unwillingness of the EU member-states to be engaged in geopolitical tensions with it.
The regional security deficit requires more active and efficient EU engagement as a security provider in settling the protracted conflicts. The relevant measures should be: establishment of security compact within the Eastern Partnership initiative, deployment of additional missions in the region, coordination of activities with the OSCE, US and NATO.
Key words: European Union, EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), Eastern Partnership, conflict resolution, security provider.
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