UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Capacity building for peace? The European Union's impact on security sector reform in Moldova and Georgia Pajalic, Marko


The recent enlargements of the European Union brought about a strategic shift in the EU’s approach to conflict management and security in the eastern neighbourhood. The Partnership and Co-operation Agreements between the EU and Moldova contained no mention of the Transnistrian dispute, while the agreement between the EU and Geor gia included a vague phrase regarding political dialogue which may include the issue of conflict resolution. The addition of new members to the Union, however, expanded the EU into its neighbourhood and brought closer the unresolved territorial disputes. Concerns that were once further away are now right next door. While the former accession states might have served as buffers to these concerns, they can no longer, as members of the Union, be seen as such. Therefore, there is a greater need to address security issues, such as the ‘frozen conflicts’ bordering the EU. This thesis will examine the evolution of the EU’s responses to security chal lenges in the Eastern neighbourhood, and assess the role the EU plays in addressing these ‘frozen conflicts’ through the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Fur ther, this thesis will argue that the EU has thus far exerted limited direct pressure towards direct resolution of these conflicts and has instead approached regional stability through a variety of other indirect and long term means, such as the pursuit of economic growth and political stability. In particular, the research will look at the security sector reform (SSR) and will focus on the EU’s impact, or Europeanization, in the rule of law and border management sectors of Moldova and Georgia. It will be shown that these two sectors are related to promoting political stability and economic growth, which is in line with the EU’s effort to support development in Moldova and Georgia, and thus indirectly address ‘frozen conflict’ resolution by. altering the incentive structures. This thesis will conclude that the EU does have an impact on the rule of law and border management sectors and subsequently some impact on the ‘frozen conflict’ in Moldova but less so on the conflicts in Georgia.

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