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2023 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

The Role of the EU in the Venezuelan Conflict: Why Did Democracy Promotion Fail?

Author : Susanne Gratius

Published in: Venezuela – Dimensions of the Crisis

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Besides the United States, China and Russia, the EU has been an important external actor in the Venezuelan conflict. Brussels’ clear political position against the Maduro regime and the imposition of smart sanctions against government officials follows, with nuances, the path of US policy toward Venezuela. This chapter explores the reasons behind this decision, the evolution of EU-Venezuelan relations in the last two decades, and explains, through a qualitative analysis of primary and secondary sources, why the EU’s policy of democracy promotion by coercion has not been successful, but contributed to a stronger role and influence of China and Russia in the Andean country. It concludes with the recommendation to reinforce instruments such as development cooperation or political dialogue as positive incentives for a democratic transition as a formula to increase Brussels’ leverage and linkage in Venezuela.

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Footnotes
2
See, for example, the Declaration of the High Representative of the EU on January 6, 2021: “Venezuela urgently needs a political solution to end the current impasse through an inclusive process of dialogue and negotiation leading to credible, inclusive and democratic processes”; and EP Resolution on 18 July 2019, when the EP “Reaffirms that a peaceful, democratic and inclusive solution is the only sustainable way out of the current political impasse and the severe social and humanitarian crisis (…)”.
 
5
Venezuela: Statement by the International Contact Group on the political negotiations in Mexico, 2 September 2021 (https://​eeas.​europa.​eu/​headquarters/​headquarters-homepage/​103686/​venezuela-statement-international-contact-group-political-negotiations-mexico_​en) (24.03.22).
 
8
The UN Development Report 2020 classified Venezuela as “high developed country” ranked 113rd among 189 evaluated countries (PNUD, Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano 2020. La próxima frontera: desarrollo humano y el Antropoceno. Nota informativa para los países acerca del Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano 2020. República Bolivariana de Venezuela).
 
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Metadata
Title
The Role of the EU in the Venezuelan Conflict: Why Did Democracy Promotion Fail?
Author
Susanne Gratius
Copyright Year
2023
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-21889-7_8