The EU and Conflict Mitigation in the European Neighborhood: A Story of a Gap Between Ambition and Deeds


  • Zuzana Novakova
  • Roman Petrov



conflict management, conflict prevention, European Union, European Neighborhood Policy, EU leverage, good neighbourliness, security


From Russia’s aggression in Eastern Europe to the aftermath of the Arab Spring in the Southern Mediterranean, conflicts and violence highlight a range of new challenges to the EU’s external policy. There were six territorial disputes among the EU’s neighbours when the European Neighbourhood Policy was launched 12 years ago. None of these has been resolved, and both the Eastern and the Southern neighbours are more unstable and insecure today than they were when the Policy was launched. The EU seems unprepared to deal with these conflicts, as they now exist. This article analyses the European Neighborhood Policy as a framework for EU involvement in conflict prevention, management and resolution. The focus is twofold: first, on the principle of good neighborliness and the pitfalls preventing its effective implementation and, second, on the wider policy and political context of EU actorness in conflict and security matters.


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