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Sub-regional Cooperation in Europe: An Assessment. Bruges Regional Integration & Global Governance Paper 3/2009

Cottey, Andrew (2009) Sub-regional Cooperation in Europe: An Assessment. Bruges Regional Integration & Global Governance Paper 3/2009. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    Since the 1990s a wide range of new sub-regional groups have emerged in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the former Soviet Union. This paper provides an assessment of the new European sub-regional groups, exploring why and how sub-regionalism has proliferated in Europe since the 1990s, analysing what functions sub-regional groups perform and evaluating their significance. The paper argues that European sub-regional groups have developed in three distinct phases: a formative, post-Cold War phase in the early 1990s when many of these groups were established; a second phase in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the eastward enlargement of the EU and NATO and the ending of the Yugoslav wars reshaped the dynamics of sub-regionalism; and a third post-enlargement phase in the late 2000s where attention has shifted to the role of sub-regionalism in a strategic environment where further enlargement of the EU and NATO (at least beyond the Balkans) appears unlikely and Russo-Western relations are more problematic. Moreover, the paper argues that the European sub-regional groups have four distinct roles: a bridge-building function across the ‘dividing lines’ between EU/NATO and their non-member neighbours and the geo-cultural divide between Europe and North Africa and the Middle East; an integrative function helping some member states to integrate into the EU and/or NATO; a role as frameworks for addressing transnational policy challenges; and a role as facilitators of political, economic and institutional reform in participating states. The paper concludes that although the European sub-regional groups lack the economic, military and institutional power of the EU and NATO, these groups have nevertheless played a positive role in fostering security and cooperation in their respective sub-regions and in the wider Europe as a whole.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Additional Information: Joint working paper series of the EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies Department at the College of Europe and the Comparative Regional Integration Studies of the United Nations University, Bruges.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Central and Eastern Europe
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Mediterranean/Union for the Mediterranean
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-South-Eastern Europe (Balkans)
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Middle East
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-North Africa/Maghreb
    Other international institutions > NATO
    Countries > Russia
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > Bruges Regional Integration & Global Governance (BRIGG) Papers
    Depositing User: Ms Léonie Maes
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2012 16:42
    Number of Pages: 25
    Last Modified: 09 May 2012 16:42
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/33535

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