Eva Gross

Policy and Research Papers

Assessing the EU’s Approach to Security Sector Reform (SSR)

SSR activities are key for stabilizing fragile and post-conflict states through their emphasis on training, institutional reform and governance. The EU has engaged in aspects of SSR for the past decade through its CFSP/CSDP as well as development and enlargement policies. The recently launched CSDP missions in the Horn of Africa take place in a new institutional context, and address European security concerns in a fragile but geopolitically important region. The EU’s engagement with SSR in general and the Horn of Africa in particular shows the difficulties in simultaneously pursuing dual objectives of stability and institution-building and in adopting and coordinating long-and short-term approaches to the problems facing the region. To do justice to the holistic conception of SSR and its emphasis on accountability and democratic oversight, the training of security forces and capacity building needs to be framed in a long-term approach that aims for sustainable structural change. The creation of the EEAS has given the EU the right tools – but a continued emphasis on policy coordination is necessary to address old and new, institutional and operational, challenges so as to attain a comprehensive approach to SSR. The input and continued commitment of member states to CSDP also remains vital