Emerson, Michael. (2008) The EU’s New Black Sea Policy- What kind of regionalism is this? CEPS Working Document No. 297/July 2008. [Working Paper]
After the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 the European Union moved quickly to fill an obvious gap in its vision of the regions to its periphery, proposing the ‘Black Sea Synergy’. The EU shows a certain degree of commonality in its approaches to each of the three enclosed seas in this region – the Baltic, the Mediterranean and now the Black Sea. While the political profiles of these maritime regions are of course very different, they naturally give rise to many common policy challenges, including those issues that are based on the technical, non-political matters of regional maritime geography. This paper sets out a typology of regionalisms and examines where in this the EU’s Black Sea Synergy is going to find its place. While the Commission’s initial proposals were highly ‘eclectic’, with various examples of ‘technical regionalism’ combined with ‘security regionalism’, there is already a diplomatic ballet in evidence between the EU and Russia, with the EU countering Russia’s pursuit of its own ‘geopolitical regionalism’. The EU would like in theory to see its efforts lead to a ‘transformative regionalism’, but the lack of agreement so far over further extending membership perspectives to countries of the region risks the outcome being placed more in the category of ‘compensatory regionalism’.
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