Implementing EU's Normative Agenda in the South Caucasus: Contradictory effects
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It is not a secret that the EU has sought to influence regional developments by imposing liberal democratic norms on the third countries interested in closer relations with the union. Given that this soft power approach may effect change, we analysed the role of EU normative powers in influencing human rights dialogues. We also saw how both the political establishments and societies at large have adapted to these new circumstances. Further to the east, the lever for Europeanization seems to be eroding. To that end, the EU has continuously reaffirmed that its support for and cooperation with target countries must be conditional on the promotion of civil liberties and democratic reforms. While there is concern that the EU’s normative policies may be ineffective if they are not fully implemented on the ground, it is possible that the prospect of EU integration could prove to be an attractive aspiration for large segments of these societies. Fully implementing EU norms, however, may drive these countries into conflict with the conservative mores sustained by the state/religious institutions.