Pacifier or Bystander? Redefining the EU's Involvement in Crises in the EU's Neighbourhood.

Magdalena Góra, Marcin Zubek

EU's closest neighbourhood, be it in the east or in the south is of various degree of political stability. Two main conflicts are specifically important for citizens in the EU. The so-called refugee crisis, resulting partly from the destabilisation following the Arab Spring (especially the Syrian civil war) and partly from the migration pressure the EU has been facing for many years, has become the main issue for citizens. The Ukraine conflict on the other hand - specifically fuelling fears in Central and Eastern Europe - acted as a reminder that Eastern Europe is prone to destabilisation and Russian foreign policy is at least at some level contradictory to the EU's aims and goals. Ultimately, the multipolar world is causing more conflicts and competition on the EU from other actors in the international arena. The EU therefore needs to act as a regional pacifier as well as engage in conflictual relations that may evoke more contestation and political claims; as such activity often entails difficult political decisions. The main aim of this paper is then to examine the change in framing the possible EU's roles - within ENP - in these two cases of refugee crisis and Ukrainian conflict. The analysis focuses on main frames that are employed to define the EU's role both on the supranational level, in the European Parliament between 2004-2014, as well as in national parliaments (in Poland and UK) in the same period of time.

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