ARKHIPOVA E.V. EU Humanitarian Programs and regional identity in the South Caucasus

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2013.2.10

Arkhipova Ekaterina Vladimirovna

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of International Relations and Area Studies,

Volgograd State University

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Prospect Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation


Abstract. EU Humanitarian Programs in the Southern Caucasus States are considered in the article. The increasing number and importance of the programs developing person-toperson contacts for the conflicting areas are noted. The influence of TRACECA and INOGATE programs was very significant in developing the local economies. Humanitarian aspects became important since 1992 when the first peace-building conferences of the Minsk group on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict took place. The political cooperation was institutionalized in 2004 with the implementing the European Neighborhood program. According to the “Eastern Partnership” a number of grants was offered to develop so called “new democracies”. A lot of educational programs provided the space for the personal cooperation in the area now are implementing. Mobility Partnerships program provides the regional cooperation in the migration policy. Consequently all the EU programs make the European volumes popular for the Caucasian inhabitants. That’s why the author puts the question about possible transformations in the regional identity. The states elites declare the importance for developing close contacts with EU institutes. Still there are some arguable issues. The status of sexual minorities in Azerbaijan provides the base for the mutual discontent in their relations with EU. Yet Azerbaijan has enough financial resources (based on the petrol supplies) to reduce the EU influence in some objectionable fields. Georgia under M. Saakashvili ruling showed a strong trend towards EU and “Western” values on the whole. But this trend was mainly based on the strategies of the state financial surviving. There are some evidences proving that the main target of this police was to make a distance from the Russian policy. Armenia may be introduces as the state with strong interests in European cooperation for developing its economy. But there are also some important projects connecting Armenia with Russia, still here the Russian influence was reduced considerably. Obviously the area states as well as their citizens are not going to lose their national identities, but they are becoming more and more involved in the cooperation with EU with some benefits, while the Russian influence is reducing in political and cultural spheres.

Key words: EU, South Caucasus, humanitarian programs, conflict management, regional identity.

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