The European Union has been slow and reactive in responding to the crisis in Ukraine and the following conflict between the Kremlin and Kyiv but, nevertheless, provided some positive impact on the peacebuilding process.
This in-depth case study analyses three EU conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Ukraine: one diplomatic case (Normandy Format), two missions in the field of security sector reform -The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) and The European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM)- and one in the field of governance reform (decentralization).
The study reflects how the EU's civilian capabilities in conflict prevention and peacebuilding can be enhanced and implemented in a more inclusive and sustainable manner.
To read the case study, Assessing the EU's conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Ukraine, please follow the link provided.
This case study was produced by the Political Development Forum (PDF) in Yemen and presents research findings about the ongoing European Union (EU) intervention in the cluster of Multi-track diplomacy (MTD). This study is based on both desk review and field research, including interviews with local and foreign stakeholders. It contains a broad insight into Yemen's national context and the EU's policy, including EU-Yemen relations. Further it provides an overview of Yemen's Arab Spring and the EU's response to it. In this regard, it evaluates and assesses the EU's MTD efforts and concludes with lessons to learn and concrete improvement suggestions. The report largely ignores the EU's interventions in the cluster of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Governance reform mainly due to the fact that the country is currently undergoing a massive military operation that has led many actors to flee Yemen. Another factor are the travel restrictions within the country and difficulties of communication. Nevertheless, this report offers a broad grass-roots perspective on the EU's contribution to Yemen's transition process and on how to improve.
To access the full case study, Assessing the EU’s conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Yemen, please follow the link provided.
As one of the least developed Sahel countries, Mali is experiencing a critical period in its history. The Malian crisis can be seen as twofold: a security crisis in the North with the presence of armed groups and an institutional crisis followed by the coup d'état of 22 March 2012. The combination of the two interconnected crises laid bare the weakness of the Malian State and led to the occupation of 2/3 of Mali's territory by various armed groups in 2012 and early 2013. Like most of Mali's development partners, the European Union was initially taken aback by the eruption of the 2012 crisis, and expressed its deep concern. Before this, efforts were focussed on initiatives to counter the threat of terrorism and fight against trafficking (drugs, human beings, etc.). But the suddenness of the fall of democracy, the violence of the attacks and the multi-level consequences of the crisis led the members of the international community in general, and the EU in particular, to invest heavily in a return to peace.
This report analyses three spheres of contemporary EU intervention in Mali: multi-track diplomacy; two missions in the field of security sector reform (EUTM and EUCAP-Sahel-Mali), and several programmes in the field of governance reform (PARADDER, State Building Contract and PAOSC I and II). At all levels, the EU policies were reviewed against the background of Mali's peace process, in order to understand to what extent the EU is able to contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in the case of Mali, and whether and how it uses sustainable, comprehensive and innovative civilian means to do so.
To read the full case study, Assessing the EU’s conflict prevention and Peacebuilding interventions in Mali, please follow the link provided.
This report presents an overview of the European Union (EU) capabilities in peacebuilding and conflict prevention interventions in Georgia. It was prepared by the ‘Whole of Society Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding' (WOSCAP) team at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. The report mostly deals with the period from 2008 until 2016.
In particular it focuses on three cases: the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), Geneva International Discussions, and the Confidence Building Early Response Mechanism (COBERM), a joint initiative by the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These cases were chosen for the study as they correspond with three categories of interventions taken on by the WOSCAP research project: multi-track diplomacy, governance reform, and security sector reform. The present study is based on desk research in combination with in-depth interviews. The WOSCAP team conducted a total of 28 interviews with representatives of relevant local and international actors.
The study answers the following question: how can EU civilian capabilities be enhanced in order to make the EU interventions in Georgia more inclusive and sustainable, especially by improving multi-stakeholder coherence. The study further reveals how multi-stakeholder coherence interlinks with issues of local ownership and how it can strengthen the peacebuilding process as a whole.
To read the full case study, Assessing the EU's conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Georgia, please follow the link provided.
Policy and Research Papers
Security Sector Reform (SSR) is an important tool in the EU’s external intervention toolkit. Against the backdrop of an increasingly uncertain global security environment and especially against the backdrop of changing geo-political relations, the EU has currently stepped up its SSR endeavours globally, and particularly in its eastern neighbourhood.
This paper considers the case of the EU’s ongoing Security Sector Reform efforts in Ukraine and uses primary and secondary data collected by the Whole of Society for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (WOSCAP) project. It first investigates the unique challenges faced by the EU’s SSR efforts in Ukraine. Then, applying the ‘Whole of Society’ approach (WOS) to the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Ukraine, it analyses the configuration of EU’s current approach to SSR, both conceptually and operationally, including the various internal and external factors underlying them.
The report argues that the EU’s current SSR efforts in Ukraine are conceived narrowly and lack a long term governance-development approach. Further, by resorting to a much narrower, topdown, institutionalist approach to SSR and given the tense political atmosphere in the region, the EU’s SSR efforts serve to reinforce a vertical coherence gap and divisions within Ukrainian society. We recommend a ‘thicker approach’ to SSR in Ukraine, firmly built on the principles of local ownership and inclusivity as a way of enhancing the EU’s political and normative leverage in Ukraine and its ability to improve the security sector governance architecture both in the country and in the wider region.
For full access to the report, From Revolution to Reform and Back: EU-Security Sector Reform in Ukraine, please follow the link.
Local ownership is one of the guiding norms of contemporary peacebuilding and conflict prevention. To help advance understanding and address the shortcomings and challenges of translating this concept from policy ideal to good practice, this report adopts two perspectives. One is a problem solving perspective which examines the practical difficulties evidenced in attempts to implement local ownership policies by the European Union (EU) and other actors, which arise from a combination of conceptual confusions and process issues. The other perspective questions at a deeper level how local ownership is constructed as a practice and discourse within EU civilian peacebuilding and conflict prevention policies. From this more fundamental perspective, which reflects a Whole of Society approach to EU peacebuilding and conflict prevention capabilities, local ownership is proposed as a deep engagement, and ‘thick conversation’ between locals and external peacebuilders, which takes account of the diversity and complexity of actors, processes and relationships and the multiple positions each constituency adopts towards the conflict.
The report analyses local ownership in terms of the EU’s ability to leverage the density and complexity of local society and build positive social capital in response to conflict. It uses examples of the private sector and religious organisations as significant constituencies which are under-represented in current approaches. These examples illustrate the presence of neglected sites of local agency and provide a lens for identifying indigenous practices and networked relationships which are intrinsic to developing effective and sustainable peacebuilding outcomes. The report’s main finding is that existing approaches to local ownership fail to capture – or sometimes even acknowledge – the deep-seated difficulties of aligning with the variegated and fluid nature of local society, and its creative possibilities. Based on these examples, the Whole of Society perspective suggests that the promise of local ownership in international interventions is best served through identifying appropriate spaces of action within local society, and an adjustment of programming parameters to enable the EU to complement the efforts of domestic actors.
To read the full report, Local Ownership Challenges in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention, please follow the link provided.