CEU Political Science Journal vol:4 issue:1 pages:26-47
In this article, we argue that the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has to be considered and evaluated as a structural foreign policy that seeks to influence political, legal, socio-economic, security and mental structures over the long-term, rather than being a conventional foreign policy, focussing on states, military crises and conflicts (Keukeleire and MacNaughtan, 2008). We stress that, if the ENP wants to be effective as a structural foreign policy in the South Caucasus, it needs to enhance its attention for regional civil society cooperation. We develop an innovative framework, illustrating the potential of regional civil society cooperation on three levels: the substate (i.e. the relations between the societies of the ‘nation state’ and their break-away regions), the transstate (i.e. the relations between the societies of the three South Caucasian states) and the international level (i.e. the relations between the region and international actors). Our main argument is that through an enhanced attention for civil society cooperation by financing and coordinating projects and activities on these three levels, the EU should empower civil society and instrumentalize it as one of the keys to turn the ENP into an effective structural foreign policy.