In the European Union Global Strategy, the objective of democracy promotion in the neighbourhood has been replaced by the concept of resilience, conceived as “the ability of states and societies to reform, thus withstanding and recovering from internal and external crises”. The aim of this empirical research is to explore how the concept of resilience and the subsequent Implementation Plan, which set out 13 proposal, are changing the EU’s external action in the neighbourhood. The analysis will focus on two case studies, Kosovo and Western Sahara. European Union action in Kosovo has been deep and controversial: the renovation of EULEX mission’s mandate for other 2 years resulted in a downgraded level of ambition in some areas of action but also a more realistic understanding of the outcomes needed for resilience. The case of Western Sahara unquestionably influences – and is influenced by – the relations with Morocco and Algeria, but the question over the disputed territory seems to be on stalemate. Will the new paradigm of resilience help to find a long-term solution to this crisis, or will it add new elements that could bring to some developments? After the assessment of the consequences of the adoption of the EUGS towards the two “statehood crises” of the European Neighbourhood, feasible actions will be proposed in the 4 areas of resilience in these two countries.
Keywords: EU Global Strategy, Resilience, Implementation Plan, Kosovo, Western Sahara
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa; Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Roma