From Transnistria to South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Kosovo and Northern Cyprus: The presence of de facto states close to, or at the borders of the European Union is considered a security problem. The recent events in Nagorno-Karabakh, which used to be defined as a de facto state before Azerbaijan took control of the region through military action, underline the relevance of these unresolved conflicts. While the interests involved in conflict management dynamics are complex, economic actors and their interests are often said to be a “blind spot” in conflict management processes. This is surprising since economic incentives may have the potential to facilitate peace, but can also pose an obstacle for resolution processes within the context of complex interests involved in conflict management dynamics. Against this background the following questions will serve as a starting point for our discussions:
1. Is the economic dimension neglected in conflict management processes, and if so, why?
2. What influence do economic interests and actors have on negotiation processes?
3. What conflicting goals may arise from the interplay between economy and diplomacy?