EU influence on environmental politics in the post-Soviet space: a comparison of Armenia and Georgia



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Tartu Ülikool


Although environmental governance has long been one of the EU’s priorities in the Eastern Neighbourhood Programme, the amounts of EU funding that were invested in Armenia and Georgia seem to only weakly correlate with their environmental performances. This master thesis hence deals with the question, why EU mechanisms aiming at environmental politics in post-Soviet countries are in some cases more effective than in others. The focus lies on the processes of EU cooperation and communication on the theoretical basis of external governance, comparing the two cases Georgia and Armenia. The hypothesis states that it is more likely for the EU to have a sustainable impact on a country’s environmental politics when it has a strong hierarchical governance. The research consists of the qualitative assessment of expert interviews with environmental actors in Georgia and Armenia. Major findings include that the EU’s cooperation patterns differ towards different national actors, to the general detriment of environmental NGOs. This creates the request for more institutional and reliable support by the EU.