Who’s walking on the Silk Road? EU’s Policy at the Black Sea Region: from Bilateral to Regional Approach

Ilie, Anca Gabriela
Colibasanu, Oana Antonia
Publication date: 
Black Sea region is today the geopolitical attraction for both the United States and the European Union after being under the Soviet Union for more than 4 decades. The countries in the region have started to become pro-European but the Union seems to change its bilateral policy approach with a more regional approach. The political swift has done some history in the case of the Western Balkans, where the EU has first tried its regional approach with a bilateral flavor. The conditionality sets and rules applied in the case of the Western Balkans states could be also used in the case of the Black Sea bordering countries. However, both the European Union and the countries here must first find the incentives and the strenght to get involved into a long term relationship, as it is the relationship between Brussels and the Balkans. In the same time, the events in the Balkans set trends within the Black Sea region. European geopolitical, economic and security interests demand clear answers to questions like: “how will the dual EU’s approach differ from the approach used in the case of the Western Balkans?”, “What are the special features of the region that the Union should take into account?”. In order to properly answer all these, the EU has first to answer the question "Why the Black Sea region?".