The fifth EU-enlargement round in 2004 and 2007 resulted in the acquisition of new neighbors, presented the EU with new opportunities and challenges, and has given it a greater weight on the international scene. Being a Black Sea power since the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, the EU has given special attention to its eastern neighbors and has developed new initiatives under the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). The ENP presents the overall framework for the relations between the EU and its neighbors and it is meant to provide an opportunity for close, privileged relations, especially in political and economical terms. Within this greater framework, other regional initiatives have been developed recently. The military escalation in South Ossetia between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 not only gave the drive to the EU to accelerate the works on the proposed Eastern Partnership (EaP), but also inspired Turkey to
The Caucasus: Which Role for Turkey in the European Neighborhood?
The Turkish proposal of a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform (CSCP), and its impact on existing EU initiatives covering the same region, represents a challenge for the future shape of the European neighborhood. This article analyzes the evolution of the CSCP since its launch in summer 2008 until now and presents the platform’s approach and main ideas. A core question will be whether the Turkish proposal will be complementary to or in competition with other European initiatives such as the Eastern Partnership or the Black Sea Synergy. Different stakeholders’ perceptions of the CSCP will also be outlined. Finally, an outlook will be given which will explore Turkey’s role for the stability at the EU’s south-eastern borders as well as its impact for the European Neighborhood Policy.
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