The EU, Regional Conflicts and the Promotion of Regional Cooperation: A Successful Strategy for a Global Challenge? (RegioConf)



Regional conflicts are a core global challenge in that they threaten international peace and affect global actors either because of economic and strategic interests or because of challenges to normative claims. The European Union (EU) has been seen as a normative power able to help transform such conflicts. A prominent strategy in this has been the promotion of regional integration through various forms of support for regional integration projects and strategies, from the Andean Community to the African Union. RegioConf aims at assessing this strategy by comparing EU involvement in different cases in the Mediterranean, Africa, Central and South America and East Asia.


The central question which RegioConf seeks to address in this context is: To what extent, and under which conditions, does the promotion of regional integration contribute to the positive transformation of regional conflicts?


In order to answer this question, the following aspects of regional integration will be addressed within the project:

  • What does the EU strategy of the promotion of regional integration consist of? Which instruments are applied, what motivates the EU to engage in a regionalization process beyond its borders? How does the EU actually implement its strategy? Are the adopted EU policies in line with the original strategy?
  • What have been the local responses to EU regional engagement?
  • How has the EU strategy been received by other international actors?
  • Which factors can explain a positive or negative impact on conflict transformation?


In addressing these questions, RegioConf will enhance our understanding of a crucial part of EU external policy, make a contribution to the debate about sustainable peace strategies, and put forward policy recommendations about how to assist the transformation of regional conflicts more successfully.


Click here for more details about the project.

Project Team



Final Conference in Brussels

On November 14th, 2014, the final conference of the RegionConf project took place in Brussels. The team presented its research results in five different panels and discussed the findings with EU representatives and experts on regionalism.

More information on past events


  • Funded by Compagnia di San Paolo, through the programme “Europe and Global Challenges” together with Volkswagenstiftung and Riksbankens Jubileumsfondet.
  • The total funding volume is 700,500 € within two years.
  • Start date: 1 January 2013