The European Commission is the EU's executive body and represents the interests of Europe as a whole (as opposed to the interests of individual countries).
The term 'Commission' refers to both the college of commissioners and the institution itself – which has its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium with offices in Luxembourg. The Commission also has offices known as 'representations' in all EU member countries.
The European Commission requested ISSAT’s support in the design and delivery of a two-day workshop on Security Sector Reform, in view of building EU capacity to support the design and delivery of SSR programmes.
The objectives of the two-day workshop were as follows:
- introduce participants to the concept and evolution of SSR, including actors, contexts, principles and programme areas
- explain the EU’s approach to SSR – including policy frameworks, organs and mechanisms - and how it has emerged and developed
- discuss the political nature of SSR and the challenges faced when supporting SSR processes in conflict affected or fragile states
- examine how the EU works with other national and international actors, with a special emphasis on the UN, in supporting SSR programmes
- provide participants with an opportunity to become acquainted with some of the tools and techniques SSR practitioners use on the ground
The workshop targeted middle and senior-management level representatives from the European Commission (DG DEV, RELEX, AIDCO, ECHO, etc) the EU Council Secretariat (DG8, DG9, CPCC, etc), Parliament.
The thematic unit for governance, security, human rights and gender (E4) at AIDCO planned to conduct a review on EC support within the justice sector. This review was based on the study "Support for Judicial Reform in ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) Countries" which was finalized this year. The reference group commented on the current review focusing on ACP countries and gave advice on the writing and method of the new review. Target audience was the EC E4 thematic unit and other people or organisations taking part in the reference group. ISSAT’s role was to participate in a reference group for a review on the EC support within the justice sector. The reference group met twice, at the beginning of the process to discuss the inception report and at the end in a restitution workshop. The first meeting was planned for the 2nd of February 2011 and the second meeting in August.
The EC commissioned an evaluation by external consultants of its support to justice and security system reform over the period 2001-2009, covering aid programming and implementation. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess to what extent Commission assistance had been relevant, efficient, effective and sustainable in providing the expected impacts in Justice and Security System Reform. The results of the evaluation were to be used by DGs DEV, Relex, the EuropeAid Cooperation Office and the EU Delegations to support policy decision-making and project management purposes.
The EC Evaluation Unit, which commissioned the evaluation, requested periodic advisory support from ISSAT. The Evaluation Unit forms part of the Evaluation Reference Group, which comprises representatives from the main relevant services from the Commission (including AIDCO, RELEX, and JLS). It is responsible for reviewing and approving the approach, detailed methodology and the inception, desk and final reports from the external consultants undertaking the evaluation.
The European Commisison provided an increasing level of support to Justice and Security Sector Reform through EU Delegations worldwide. In order to increase the capacity of its staff, the Commission, through DG EuropeAid (unit E4), requested the support of ISSAT in facilitating and contributing to a workshop for EU staff working on Justice and Security Sector Reform.
The target audience was mainly composed of EU Delegations staff managing JSSR programmes in country.
ISSAT’s role was to :
- Facilitate the workshop, moderate debates between participants and provide conclusions for each discussion
- Contribute to the discussions when relevant by providing ISSAT's experience
- Provide suggestions for the content of the working groups and the interactive sessions of the workshop
The EU delegation in Guinea Conakry is currently developing a new programme of support to the Security Sector Reform in Guinea Conakry. The EU requested ISSAT to provide advisory support on the feasibility and the relevance of the main components of the proposed EU support programme focusing on components 1 and 3 (see below).
ISSAT’s assessment would be developed on the basis of documentation and assessment studies undertaken by various stakeholders, including the Identification Study on SSR carried by the EU, as well on the previous work undertaken by ISSAT in Guinea Conakry.
Policy and Research Papers
The Functioning of Judicial Systems and the Situation of the Economy in the European Union Member States
The EU Justice Scoreboard is a comparative tool, which seeks to provide reliable and objective data on the justice systems in all 27 Member States, and in particular on the quality, independence and efficiency of justice, which are the key components of an 'effective justice system'. Effective justice systems are crucial for growth and for the effective implementation of EU law, as national courts play an essential role in upholding EU law. Improving the quality, independence and efficiency of judicial systems already forms part of the EU’s economic policy coordination process under the European Semester.
When preparing the EU Justice Scoreboard for 2013, the European Commission asked the Council of Europe’s Commission for the Evaluation of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) to collect relevant data and produce a Study on the functioning of judicial systems and the situation of the economy in the European Union Member States.
The paper sets out principles and norms for the European Community’s engagement in SSR, based on current support in different countries and regional settings, the relevant policy frameworks under which the EC supports SSR, and the rationale for SSR as an important part of Community support. In this way the policy framework will help to ensure more coordinated and strategic approaches to Community activities falling under the different policy instruments, recognising that SSR needs to be treated as a cross-cutting issue, spanning the various strands of EC external assistance. In addition, the concept seeks to define the Community’s role in the wider framework of EU external action in the area of SSR in order to ensure complementarity between EC activities and those undertaken by the EU as part of CFSP/ESDP and by Member States bilaterally. The aim is that this concept and the EU Concept for ESDP support for Security Sector Reform (SSR), which was agreed under the UK Presidency, will complement each other and be joined within the framework of an overarching EU concept for SSR.
To view this publication, follow this link.
Operational Guidelines on the Preparation and Implementation of EU Financed Actions Specific to Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Third Countries
The Guidance is intended to provide a comprehensive practical framework on the EU’s external actions in the area of counter-terrorism (CT) and preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). It offers practical support and operational guidance to EU staff on the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EU financed CT and P/CVE specific interventions in third countries. The guidance aims to provide the necessary expertise to:
- accurately assess vulnerabilities, factors Contributing to, and manifestations of, terrorism and violent extremism in a specific country/region;
- assist in the design of appropriate, context specific and conflict sensitive project interventions for CT and P/CVE in third countries, drawing from international best practices and lessons learned;
- provide guidance on the monitoring of such programmes, including identifying potential positive and negative externalities for human security, governance, the rule of law, human rights and gender in the partner country;
- propose metrics and indicators for measuring the impact of CT and CVE programming across multiple result areas, including security, governance and development.
You can download the full paper below.