EU's strategy on Political and Security issues in the four seas: a multilateral approach
The European Union has an integral interest in promoting peace and stability in her bordering region. In achieving this goal, Europe‘s four sea basins play a vital role, as all four seas, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean, as well as the Black and the Caspian Sea, are zones of essential economic interest as well as border regions. As a result, none of the four sea sub-regions could be subject to exclusive EU regulations. The four sea basins are therefore testing the EU’s ability to multitask political, economical and cultural policies within different political environments and fractured and sometimes overlapping institutional frameworks.
Enlargement has contributed towards stability in Europe as a whole, however in some sub-regions the effect of enlargement has been contradictory, as newly created borders are causing obstacles for integration. Because of “enlargement fatigue” in most of the member states, the EU needs to diversify the policies towards her neighbours. The Lisbon Treaty is enabling the EU to implement a more coherent foreign policy. The EU has become a major political factor in her periphery, but not all member states pay equal attention to this development. A stronger consensus among the member states about European policies in the four seas is required to implement a coherent EU policy. Besides the need to formulate different policies for the particular situations in the four seas, the EU needs to improve the conditions for the overall success of her policies in the four sea basins. This will require a special emphasis on the improvement of relations with Russia and Turkey.