Stabilizing de facto Conflicts in the Post-Soviet Space : The Role of the European Union in Conflict Resolution in Moldova
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Liberal Arts -- Political Science Focused Track, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, March 11, 2015.
The European Union (EU) is frequently credited for the peace and stability in Western Europe since World War II. The Union’s creation of the common market and its efforts to promote liberal ideals of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights are among the many reasons cited. After the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the expansion of the EU through Eastern Enlargement became a prominent topic both within the EU and within the former Soviet states. Resolving conflicts in the region is vital to the stability of the region, and will create more secure borders for EU member states, making conflict resolution a concern of the EU. In this thesis, I assess how effective European Union efforts to help Moldova and Transnistria reach a peaceful settlement have been. Specifically I look at the ENP Action Plan along with the EU progress reports on the Action Plan, cooperation efforts among the EU, The Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova (EUBAM) to arrive at conclusions, in the final chapter, about conflict resolution. I analyze this conflict and the importance of its resolution in the current context of the instability in neighboring Ukraine due to the secessionist movement of Crimea and the Russian support of it.