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Eastern Partnership and Conflicts in the South Caucasus: Old Wine in New Skins?


Looking into the substance of the Eastern Partnership and comparing it to past initiatives, the question is: does the EaP bring value-added to EU policies in the South Caucasus? To what extent is it a new EU policy towards the region? It will have to be more than a second round of the European Neighbourhood Policy in order to avoid further frustration stemming from the ENP. This paper tries to understand whether the Eastern Partnership proposes anything new beyond the already existing initiatives and whether it can be used to improve the EU’s capabilities in addressing regional issues, especially those related to conflicts. Considering the fact that, in the EU’s view, conflict resolution in the South Caucasus is possible only through long-term goals related to democracy and development, this study evaluates the impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy on these long-term goals in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia and analyses the prospects for the EaP to represent a step forward in this regard.