Since its inception in 2011, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) has undergone a tumultuous, roller-coaster-like evolutionary path. It cannot be understood when stripped from its wider context, requiring a broader perspective, that appreciates how deeply embedded EUSDR has been and still is in the wider history of the EU and its new member states (NMS). More so, the EUSDR is inextricably linked with wider processes of globalization and can be seen as merely constituting a rather short chapter in the very complex history of the EU. Here, we will therefore examine the EUSDR within its appropriate context, which will allow us to see that there has been no linear or evolutionary process in the EUSDR’s development, with the process having instead been largely shaped by external circumstances. Despite the potential capacity that the strategy still holds to shape the future, it is enough to allude to the Ukrainian crisis (and the ‘new Cold War’ this has produced with Russia) to cast serious doubt over its future prospects. Nevertheless, the EUSDR may be on the correct side of history, as there has been a long-run tendency in governance for regional strategies to take hold, which has been brought about by general trends towards greater globalization, so that what has emerged can be termed ‘globalization-cum-regionalization’.
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