While the European Union (EU) is widely perceived as a model for regional integration, the encouragement of regional co-operation also ranks high among its foreign policy priorities. Drawing on a wealth of sources and extensive fieldwork conducted in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Laure Delcour questions the pursuit of this external objective in EU policies implemented in the CIS and the existence of an EU regional vision in the post-Soviet area. She asks does the recent compartmentalization of EU policies correspond to a growing fragmentation of the former Soviet Union that cannot be considered as a region anymore? Does it rather reflect the EU's own interests in the area? Interested in exposing why the EU has not pursued a strategy of 'region-building' in the post-Soviet area, Delcour examines the disintegration dynamics affecting the area following the collapse of the USSR, the interplay between different actors and levels of action in EU foreign policy-making and the role of other region-builders. She takes a closer look at the strategic partnership with Russia, European Neighbourhood Policy, Eastern Partnership and Black Sea Synergy as a capability test for the European foreign policy to promote its foreign policy priorities and to raise a distinctive profile in the international arena.
'Laure Delcour's book presents a comprehensive and theoretically-informed analysis of the EU's external policy on relations with Russia and the countries of the "shared neighbourhood" - a work of serious scholarship suitable for specialists and students alike.' Derek Averre, University of Birmingham, UK 'From the angle of region-building Delcour offers a fresh look at the EU as an actor in the post-Soviet sphere: A profound analysis and original interpretation of the EU’s approach.' Barbara Lippert, German Institute for International and Security Studies, Germany ’This book offers an insightful analysis of the policies designed and implemented by the European Union in the former Soviet Union from the angle of region-building. The author provides a comprehensive analysis of the EU’s various approaches to regional co-operation with and between post-Soviet countries, in concurrence with the EU’s attempts to encourage inter-regionalism. The book is a timely contribution to the literature, which has focused more on the bilateral relations between the EU and newly independent states (NIS), or the specific initiatives of the EU, rather than on regionalism or the NIS. As a result, Delcour’s book fills a gap in the literature by providing an extensive focus on regionalism and inter-regionalism between the EU and the NIS... The volume presents a theoretically informed, empirically rich and methodologically sophisticated analysis... Overall, Delcour has written a comprehensive and highly convincing book. It should be regarded as an important contribution to European studies, and therefore is highly recommended to those interested in the EU’s external policy and relations with Russia and the neighbourhood countries.’ Journal of Common Market Studies '... Laure Delcour is quite adept at defending her critical assessments of the EU’s foreign policy within the post-Soviet space, and she provides a robust bibliography to back it up. This book is extremely inform