Assessing the European Union’s assistance to civil society in its eastern neighbourhood: lessons from the South Caucasus

Aliyev, H. (2016) Assessing the European Union’s assistance to civil society in its eastern neighbourhood: lessons from the South Caucasus. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 24(1), pp. 42-60. (doi:10.1080/14782804.2015.1056112)

Aliyev, H. (2016) Assessing the European Union’s assistance to civil society in its eastern neighbourhood: lessons from the South Caucasus. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 24(1), pp. 42-60. (doi:10.1080/14782804.2015.1056112)

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Abstract

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, assistance to civil society has been at the forefront of the European Union’s (EU) strategy in its post-Soviet Eastern neighbourhood. The literature on the EU support to civil society in post-Soviet countries has so far primarily focused on democratisation and the research assessing the effects of EU assistance to civil society has been limited. This study builds on existing literature about the EU cooperation with civil society in the South Caucasus by focusing on the following question. How successful were the EU’s efforts in supporting civil society in the South Caucasus so far? By relying on a combination of qualitative elite interviews and secondary sources, this article assesses the impact of the key EU initiatives and programmes implemented in the South Caucasus during the past two decades. It is concluded here that despite steady improvements of EU policies and approaches of empowering civil actors in the region, the European Union’s assistance to civil society in the South Caucasus region remains inconsistent and limited.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by the European Union Centres Network (EUCN) Research Award, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Aliyev, Dr Huseyn
Authors: Aliyev, H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Contemporary European Studies
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:1478-2804
ISSN (Online):1478-2790
Published Online:26 June 2015

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