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The EU as a Co-mediator in the Geneva International Discussions on South Ossetia and Abkhazia

  • Julian BergmannEmail author
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Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)

Abstract

Since October 2008 the EU has served as a co-mediator in the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the conflicts over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The main finding of the case study is that the EU’s effectiveness in terms of conflict settlement and goal-attainment is relatively low. Conflict parties’ unwillingness to compromise is the primary factor that explains the EU’s ineffectiveness as a co-mediator in the GID. As the zone of agreement on the two most important issues discussed in the GID—the non-use of force and the return of refugees and IDPs—is virtually zero, the negotiations have not made any substantial progress since their inception. The very limited space for compromise agreements strongly constrains the impact that the EU’s (limited) leverage, mediation strategy, coherence and mediator coordination can unfold on mediation effectiveness. Nevertheless, the analysis also points to the importance of the mediators’ approach to promote agreements on low-key issues in order to foster the trust between the conflict parties, a strategy that may only pay off in the long run.

Keywords

Geneva International Discussions South Ossetia Abkhazia EU mediation EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)BonnGermany

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