Harri Kämäräinen

Adviser to EUSR for the

South Caucasus

EU AND ITS NEW NEIGHBOURS; FOCUS ON THE SOUTH CAUCASUS

Harvard Black Sea Security Workshop, 6.6.-10.6.2005

Chisinau , Moldova

I Background

II Looking at the neighbourhood from South Caucasus´ perspective

III EU Policy in the South Caucasus

- with focus on the ENP

- next steps.

I Background

1995 EU´s enlargement from 15 to 18

1.5.2004 EU´s enlargement from 18 to 25

2007/2008 EU´s enlargement from 25 to 28 (?)

EU´s borders have expanded:

  • new neighbours
  • increased links and cooperation with EU´s southern and eastern neighbours, from trade to cultural exchanges, from migration issues to environmental cooperation
  • necessity to share in the peace, stability and prosperity that people in EU member states enjoy
  • aim to create a ring of friends around the borders of the new enlarged EU
  • stability, predictability
  • avoid creating new dividing lines.

How has the EU reacted?

  • Copenhagen Summit December 2002: "Wider Europe "
  • Number of countries from Belarus to Morocco were invited to join this initiative
  • At that time countries of the South Caucasus were left outside
  • As first "compensation" EU created the post of EUSR for the South Caucasus , July 2003
  • European Commission has been present in the South Caucasus since 1995 and EU has had PCA´s with Armenia , Azerbaijan and Georgia since 1999.
  • June 2004 Armenia , Azerbaijan and Georgia were invited to join the ENP.

  II From the point of view of the South Caucasus

  Old neighbours - New neighbours

(1) Armenia , Azerbaijan and Georgia have each their specific ties and relations with their Old Neighbours : Russia , Turkey and Iran . The relations as they are today are based on history, traditions and mutual experiences. Close and friendly relations with Russia form a basis for a stable future in the South Caucasus and yet there are country-specific differences in relations to Russia , as well. One can also observe great differences in the relations between South Caucasian countries themselves. Links across Caspian Sea and esp. to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan likely to play a bigger role in the years to come.

(2) Armenia , Azerbaijan and Georgia foster traditionally good Trans-Atlantic links to the United States , although one can observe country-specific differences in the level of cooperation.

(3) A third dimension of external relations is formed by supra-regional links to the EU and the Greater Middle East.

In difference from the relations to the Old Neighbours, the attitude to the New Neighbour ( EU ) in all three south Caucasian countries seems to be rather unanimous:

  • Armenia , Azerbaijan and Georgia see themselves as part of the European family and therefore their governments and peoples have clearly expressed their wish for a closer integration with the European structures.
  • All three countries see their new neighbour as a stable, predictable and prosperous partner, who is capable of spreading stability and economic well-being rather than unstability.
  • In many ways the South Caucasian countries have already shown that they share the same values as partners in the west. All three countries have become members of the OSCE and Council of Europe, on one hand, and the PfP and IPAP on the other.

III EU Policy in the South Caucasus

What new has the EUSR brought into the picture?

The appointment of an EU Special Representative to the region in July 2003 was a clear signal of the need for the EU to have a more visible presence and coherent approach to the region. After two years of office of the EUSR one can already identify some concrete results:

  • The EU-policy towards the South Caucasus has become more coherent.
  • EU has established links to all regional conflict solution mechanisms - in order to assist the UN, OSCE and Minsk Process in their efforts. EUSR has visited all conflict areas, Abkhasia, South-Ossetia, Ajara and Nagorno-Karabakh. The EU stands ready to provide support to conflict settlement, but the parties to the conflicts have to find a solution themselves.
  • A Donor Conference for Georgia was organised under auspieces of European Commission and World bank in June 2004.
  • EU launched its first civil crisis management operation, the Rule of Law -mission in Georgia in summer 2004. The Mission will end its operation in July this year.
  • Together with the US , Russia and Turkey the EU played a constructive role in the solution of the Ajara-conflict.
  • Armenia , Azerbaijan and Georgia have been included in the European Neighbourhood Policy.
  • At present EU is looking at ways how to support Georgia in the Border Monitoring after OSCE had to close down its BMO.

The EUSR is not the only instrument the EU can use to enhance its relations with the South Caucasus . A central role is played by the Presidency , the European Commission with its delegations in Tbilisi and Yerevan and a representation in Baku , the 25 member states with their bilateral programmes and the European Parliament .

ENP - European Neighbourhood Policy

  • Main objective is to share the benefits of the EU´s 2004 enlargement with neighbouring countries in strengthening stability, security and well-being for all concerned.
  • Designed to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours and to offer them the chance to participate in various EU activities, through greater political, security, economic and cultural co-operation.
  • ENP offers Armenia , Azerbaijan and Georgia the perspective of sharing with the EU "everything but institutions", including participation in a market of nearly 500 million people.
  • ENP opens a new chapter in the relations with the EU.
  • ENP is distinct from potential membership. It neither includes nor excludes membership.
  • ENP offers a privileged relationship with neighbours, which will build on mutual commitment to common values principally within the fields of the rule of law, good governance, the respect for human rights, including minority rights, the promotion of market economy and sustainable development. The level of ambition of the EU´s relationsips with its neighbours will take into account the extent to which these values are effectively shared.
  • Key elements of ENP: Country Assessment Reports, Action Plans, ENPI.

ENPI - European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument

The European Security Strategy, adopted by the European Council in December 2003, clearly identifies the Southern Caucasus as one of the regions in which the EU should take a "stronger and more active interest". The Strategy Paper demonstrates the high priority that the Union accords to shaping its future relations with new neighbours. It seeks to make the full use of existing tools and introduces a new instrument, the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) to be put in place from 2007 onwards to foster cross-border and transnational cooperation. The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument has two main objectives, namely to:

  • promote progressive economic integration and deepen political cooperation between the EU and partner countries
  • address the specific opportunities and challenges related to the geographical poximity common to the EU and its neighbours.

(1) The ENPI will contribute to greater political, economic, cultural and security cooperation between the EU and its neighbours.

(2) It will be comprehensive, replacing MEDA and Tacis and other similar instruments.

(3) It will focus in particular on supporting the implementation of ENP Action Plans.

(4) A specific and innovative feature is the cross border cooperation component.

(5) ENPI will finance "joint programmes" bringing together regions of Member States and Partner countries sharing a common border. Financing will not be limited to projects that are actually on the border, and will also cover regional projects involving several partner countries.

What next?

  • Clear that EU and its new neighbours are moving towards a new and closer relationship.
  • In practice this involves a significant degree of economic integration and a deepening of political cooperation in an approach founded on partnership, joint ownership and differentiation.
  • Relations with each country shall be tailor-made to their respective interests and capacities.
  • ENP will be the key instrument for promoting European values, and sharing the fruits of the EU´s enlargement to the benefit of EU citizens and the neighbours.

Commission will develop together with partner countries a set of priority measures to be incorporated into Action Plans. The priority areas will be:

  • political dialogue and reform;
  • trade and measures preparing Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia for gradually obtaining a stake in the EU´s Internal Market;
  • justice and home affairs;
  • energy and transport,
  • information society,
  • environmental issues,
  • research and innovation;
  • social policy and people-to-people contacts.

Individual action plans will be agreed between the EU and the countries concerned, and tailored to reflect the state of relations with each country. The plans will vary according to each partner´s particular circumstances, taking into account geographic location, the political and economic situation, current relations with the EU and other states, and the reform programmes already being implemented. This approach allows neighbours to enhance cooperation with the Union in accordance to their respective needs and abilities. Differentiation is thus a central element in the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Harri Kämäräinen

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