EU's Cross-Border Cooperation and Conflict Transformation at Contested Borders in the European Neighbourhood: Lessons from the Turkish-Armenian Border

Dogangun, Gokten
Karadağ, Yelda
In the post-Cold War period, the European Union's neighbourhood policy towards its emerging eastern neighbours aims to surround the European Union (EU) with a ring of secure, stable and prosperous neighbouring countries. Advancing conflict transformation through cross-border cooperation initiatives constitutes a crucial part of the European neighbourhood policy. Cross-border interaction and cooperation are expected to lessen the heavy burden of sealed borders by decreasing isolation and indifference and promoting mutual interaction, dialogue and confidence-building between conflicting parties. However, there are several ethno-political contestations whose historical animosities cast a shadow on the effectiveness of the EU's neighbourhood and cross-border cooperation policies for conflict transformation. The Turkish-Armenian case testifies to the persistence of physical and mental borders that stem from competing historical memories, longstanding grievances and contesting national claims, as well as from regional dynamics. This article aims to assess the impact of the EU's neighbourhood policy and cross-border cooperation initiatives on conflict transformation on the Turkish-Armenian border. The EU's policies have remained partially relevant and effectual by initiating interaction and dialogue at the civil societal level. Advancing conflict transformation at the political level, however, would require the EU to develop a more comprehensive framework that considers the cross-cutting context of the competing historical memories and regional dynamics and shifts that currently undermine the impact of further transformative attempts.


Kahraman, Sevilay (Ankara Avrupa Calismalari Dergisi, 2006)
The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) which can be viewed as the most significant geopolitical project of the European Union (EU) after 2004 enlargement, also constitutes one of the key issues of the external agenda of the Union. The ENP is a new policy initiated in 2003 and implemented in 2005 and it offers a new partnership between the enlarged EU and wider Europe, the latter including both the EU's old Southern neighbours and the new Eastern ones as well as the Southern Caucasus countries. Central to t...
Internal security and the new border management model of the EU: migration secutiy nexus
Hajipouran Benam, Çiğdem; Dağı, İhsan Duran; Department of International Relations (2011)
This is a thesis about the changing internal security conceptualizations and the new border management model of the European Union (EU), its effects on third countries and resultant power relations. Although migration is a fact as old as human history, the way the issue is represented varies in time. Especially after 1970s, with the influence of recession experienced in Europe, migration has been formulated as a tool that should be managed well, which otherwise would pose a serious problem for the host coun...
European Regions, EU External Borders and the Immediate Neighbours. Analysing Regional Development Options through Policies and Practices of Cross-Border Co-operation (EUBORDERREGIONS)
Ayata, Ayşe(2015)
EUBORDERRREGIONS will investigate the manifold consequences of increasing cross-border interaction for the development of regions at the EU’s external borders and, in this way, contribute to scientific and policy debate on the future of economic, social and territorial cohesion within the EU. Importantly, the project will contextualise development issues in selected EU “Borderlands” with regard to interaction between the EU and countries of the immediate “neighbourhood”. Within the context of these challeng...
European integration: an assessment in terms of economic policies since the euro area crisis
Cangir, Oğuzhan; Tunç, Gül İpek; Department of European Studies (2019)
Since World War (WW) II, powerful steps in terms of enlargement and deepening have been taken forward to integrate Europe within the context of an organization called as the European Union (EU). Despite powerful steps, in recent years the EU has been facing challenging exams (constitutional crisis in 2005, the Euro Area (EA) crisis in 2009, refugee crisis, terrorist attacks etc.) which adversely affect the dynamism of integration, and consequently it is seen that there are some backward steps (Brexit and ot...
Local Dimensions of a Wider European Neighbourhood:Developing Political Community through Practices and Discourses of Cross-Border Co-operation (EUDIMENSIONS)
Ayata, Ayşe(2009-6-30)
With the concept generally known as "Wider Europe", the European Union has mapped out an ambitious vision of regional "Neighbourhood" that "goes beyond co-operation to involve a significant measure of integration". Furthermore, the EU sees this new quality of regional interaction and partnership as bringing "enormous gains to all involved in terms of increased stability, security and well being". EUDIMENSIONS seeks to understand the implications of these emerging geopolitical contexts for cross-border co...
Citation Formats
G. Dogangun and Y. Karadağ, “EU’s Cross-Border Cooperation and Conflict Transformation at Contested Borders in the European Neighbourhood: Lessons from the Turkish-Armenian Border,” GEOPOLITICS, pp. 625–649, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: