Celac, Sergiu and Emerson, Michael and Tocci, Nathalie (2000) A Stability Pact for The Caucasus: A Consultative Document of the CEPS Task Force on the Caucasus. CEPS Paperback. January 2000. Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Paperbacks . Centre for European Policy Studies.
In January 2000, CEPS formed a Task force on the Caucasus at the proposal of the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Max Van de Stoel. This report contains a preliminary text of a comprehensive plan for the region. Preface. EPS formed a Task Force on the Caucasus on 28 January 2000 in concluding a conference in Brussels, convened by CEPS at the proposal of the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities, Max Van der Stoel. With the present document the Task Force puts into circulation the preliminary text of a comprehensive plan for the region. Consultations are now being undertaken with interested parties, official and non-governmental, in the region and outside, in order to improve the present proposals operationally, and to create momentum in public debate. C A word on the title “A Stability Pact for the Caucasus” is called for. The Task Force has hesitated over this. Of course the substance rather than the name is the main point. But still, the chosen title serves to bring into the open some vital issues. Is the intention to copy the Balkan Stability Pact of 1999, or the Balladur Stability Pact of 1995? Neither, since the circumstances in each case are different and so must also be the mechanisms – despite some obvious similarities between the Balkans and the Caucasus (multi-ethnic “Balkanisation”, conflicts, frontiers of former empires and ancient civilisations). Still there are three features in common: 1) Multilateral diplomatic initiatives concerning territories that border or overlap the former Soviet Union and the enlarging European Union; 2) Normative foundations consisting of common values codified by the pan-European organisations (Council of Europe and OSCE); and 3) Complex actions that have to be based on the interests of regional actors, but that also depend on the economic incentives and peacekeeping capacities that only the major powers can deploy. The proposed Stability Pact for the Caucasus is perhaps closer to the Balkan Stability Pact, being about ethnic conflict resolution or post-conflict situations, rather than preventive diplomacy as with the Balladur Stability Pact. It is categorically different, however, in that there has been no significant Western military involvement, the region is entirely post-Soviet Union space, and the geographical proximity of the European Union is less. Still, the Task Force has attempted to draft a Stability Pact for the Caucasus with the same three common features identified above. But the combination of measures has to be different: more importance attached to regional integration (of the South Caucasus), direct responsibilities assigned to Russia (Northern Caucasus), long-term perspective on integration with the EU (for the Southern Caucasus), agreement of the essential need for a Pact to establish a predominantly cooperative regime for the whole region. The latter would be underwritten by all the regional actors and the major external powers, progressively supplanting the regime of local hostilities backed by opposing geo-political alliances. There may be some fatigue with stability pacts in European diplomatic circles. However the following perspective is suggested. An historic task for the post-communist period is to stabilise the borderlands of Russia and the enlarging European Union. The first Stability Pact was rather successful in Central Europe. The second Stability Pact is work-in-progress in the Balkans. A third is now needed for the Caucasus, and with that, we would have a real chance of winning the ultimate prize of achieving stability in the entire European space.
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