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Policy and Research Papers

Reform without Ownership? Dilemmas in Supporting Security and Justice Sector Reform in Honduras

Honduras’ security and justice sector suffers from severe deficiencies. It remains largely inefficient and unable to safeguard security and the rule of law for its citizens. Criminal investigative units are plagued with serious problems of incompetence, corruption and progressive penetration by organised crime. The judiciary lacks independence and is subject to systematic political interference. Inter-institutional coordination is poor and flawed by a climate of mutual mistrust and rivalry over competencies.

This report describes and analyses the EU’s contribution to strengthening security and the rule of law in Honduras through a major security sector reform (SSR) programme earmarked with a budget of €44 million. The report underlines the crucial need for increased local ownership as a sine qua non condition if the EU’s endeavours are to trigger sustainable institutional change and thus further human security in Honduras. The report also examines prospects for the creation of an international commission against impunity, following the example of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).


Addressing state fragility in Guinea-Conakry: A European success story?

Consolidating the transitional process and improving resource exploitation in Guinea-Conakry would help to create stability and prosperity in the West Africa region. For the European Union (EU), this would mean enhanced conditions for trade and less incentive for illegal immigration into its member states. It would also enable the EU to gain broader security cooperation in the Sahel. So, redressing state fragility is a priority for external donors. In the aftermath of Guinea’s disputed 2010 elections, development partners hoped a successful democratic transition would improve resource management and secure peace and economic development. Democracy index Polity IV changed Guinea’s rating from
1 in 2009 to 6 in 2010, suggesting that the country would become a success story of a speedy and effective transition. This policy brief challenges this optimistic view and examines European policies in
Guinea, a country that ranks 156th out of 169 in the UN Human Development Index. The EU is Guinea’s most important development partner – it spent €155 million on aid to the country in 2008. But it
could improve its diplomatic influence. To counter state fragility, the EU must support institutions and not just rely on withholding aid. In this way, it can help to shape Guinea’s economic and security environment as the country takes its first steps towards a functioning democracy.