Tackling the challenges of SSR

This short article published by ISS reviews the main challenges that the EU faces in its Security Sector Reform (SSR) activities and that the SSR policy – and subsequent implementation – will have to address one way or the other.

A sound security sector is key to the development and stability of countries in transition, and SSR has therefore become central to the EU’s broad security agenda. A decade ago the European Commission and the Council Secretariat adopted two separate SSR concepts, which at the time was revealing of the existing cultural and operational differences between the then two ‘pillars’. This contributed to uncoordinated policies and proved incompatible with the spirit of the comprehensive approach. In May 2015, therefore, the Foreign Affairs Council invited the High Representative and the Commission to develop, by mid-2016, an ‘EU-wide strategic framework for SSR’, which must ‘bring together CSDP and all other relevant CFSP tools as well as development co-operation instruments and freedom, security and justice actors.’

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