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Which Conflicts can the European Neighbourhood Policy Help Resolve?


  • Thorvaldur Gylfason
  • Per Magnus Wijkman


Under what conditions can the European Neighbourhood Policy achieve one of its main objectives: to resolve conflicts in the European Union’s neighbourhood? In the spirit of Montesquieu and Monnet, the basic hypothesis of the EU is that closer economic integration encourages governments to take steps to resolve conflicts and vice versa, creating a virtuous circle of prosperity and detente. The EU has a strong motive in this, since conflicts in its neighbourhood spill-over into the EU itself. The paper identifies some factors important for success, including the existence of active facilitators of compromise, strong intraregional trade, and the prospect of accession to the EU. It concludes that the EU’s Member States must give conflict resolution greater priority in the European Neighbourhood Policy and provide stronger means, larger resources and better incentives if this goal is to be realised.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorvaldur Gylfason & Per Magnus Wijkman, 2012. "Which Conflicts can the European Neighbourhood Policy Help Resolve?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3861, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3861

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Hochreiter, Eduard, 2009. "Growing apart? A tale of two republics: Estonia and Georgia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 355-370, September.
    2. Bernard M. Hoekman & Patrick Messerlin, 2002. "Initial conditions and incentives for Arab economic integration : can the European Community's success be emulated?," Sciences Po publications WPS2921, Sciences Po.
    3. Thorvaldur Gylfason & Eduard Hochreiter, 2011. "Growing Together: Croatia and Latvia," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 53(2), pages 165-197, June.
    4. Fox, William*Wallich, Christine, 1997. "Fiscal federalism in Bosnia-Herzegovina : The Dayton challenge," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1714, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thorvaldur Gylfason & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Per Magnus Wijkman, 2012. "How Free Trade Can Help Convert the 'Arab Spring' into Permanent Peace and Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3882, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Thorvaldur Gylfason & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Per Magnus Wijkman, 2015. "Can free trade help convert the 'Arab Spring' into permanent peace and democracy?," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 247-270, June.

    More about this item


    trade; Balkans; European Neighbourhood Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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