The workshop on EU conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa took place on 11 October 2017 in the framework of the annual Belgrade Security Forum (BSF; see http://www.belgradeforum.org/). The BSF, co-organised by three NGOs including the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), is the largest conference of its kind in South Eastern Europe, gathering key foreign and security policy actors in the Balkans and Europe. A particular feature of BSF is its academic event, taking place on the first day with the aim of linking the research community with policy practicioners. This year, the academic event was hosted by the EU-CIVCAP project as part of its workshop on EU conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa. The event, entitled ‘The EU as a Global Crisis Manager’, gathered over 140 participants from the academic community, civil society, international organisations, the diplomatic corps in Belgrade, officials from Serbian public institutions and representatives from the private sector.
The workshop opened with a keynote lecture delivered by Prof Michael E. Smith of the University of Aberdeen, followed by three panels at which four deliverables under EU-CIVCAP’s Work Package 5 were presented, alongside other relevant papers analysing the EU’s crisis management initiatives.
The workshop on EU conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa, conducted under the title ‘The EU as a Global Crisis Manager’, took place on 11 October 2017 within the framework of the Belgrade Security Forum (BSF). The workshop was opened by Sonja Stojanović Gajić, Director of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, who introduced the EU-CIVCAP project. Her speech was followed by the keynote lecture entitled, ‘European Security and Crisis Management Since 2003: Is the CSDP Fit For Purpose?’, delivered by Prof Michael E. Smith of the University of Aberdeen. Three thematically organised panels followed; each panel consisted of four paper presentations followed by comments by one discussant – a policy practitioner.
At the first panel, entitled ‘The EU as a Civil-Military Crisis Manager’, Katarina Đokić of BCSP presented preliminary findings of the Deliverable research on civil-military synergies in the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa (DL 5.3, which is due for publication in 2018). The preliminary findings, based on empirical research in Somalia and Kosovo, indicate that relations between civil and military missions in the field have been formalised, but this does not necessarily produce synergies. The panel also provided an opportunity for presenting further research under Work Package 2 (the WP2 workshop was held in November 2016 in Rome, Italy). Cristian Barbieri of Istituto Affari Internazionali shared preliminary findings from DL 4.2, analysing the application of dual-use technologies in conflict prevention and peacebuilding with the case studies of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and satellites. Others presented findings on civil-military relations from related Horizon 2020 projects: IECEU (Benjamin Zyla and Arnold Kammel) and WOSCAP (Gabriëlla Vogelaar). The presentations were discussed by Pieter Feith, former International Civilian Representative for Kosovo and EUSR and member of EU-CIVCAP’s Advisory Board.
The second panel, ‘The EU as a Comprehensive Crisis Manager’, was dedicated to discussing the implementation of the EU’s Comprehensive Approach in practice, with a focus on the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa. Peter Horne Zartsdahl of Roskilde University shared preliminary findings of the comparative assessment of the implementation of the Comprehensive Approach in the EU’s engagements in the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa (DL 5.4, which is due for publication in 2018), which indicate that the level of implementation of this policy is different in the two regions. Furthermore, Erik Plänitz spoke on the impact of the EU’s engagement in mediation and local-level dialogue initiatives in the Western Balkans (DL 5.2). He presented a methodological framework for measuring mediation success and demonstrated how it could be applied by reporting about the case study of EU mediation in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. The panel also included papers by Nikola Tomic (a member of the EUNPACK Horizon 2020 project) and Neil Winn on the conceptualisation and implementation of the comprehensive approach. The papers were discussed by Tobias Pietz (Deputy Head of the Analysis Division at the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) in Berlin and a member of EU-CIVCAP’s Expert Network).
At the third panel, ‘The EU as a Crisis Management Actor: CSDP in the Neighbourhood’, Annemarie Peen Rodt of the Royal Danish Defence College presented the report on EU conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa and the Western Balkans (DL 5.1, which is due for publication this month), analysing the EU’s capabilities deployed in both regions and examining whether these capabilities were appropriate and sufficient for the EU to reach its articulated ambitions. Others delivering papers on the panel included Filip Ejdus from the University of Belgrade, Ivana Boštjančič Pulko from the IECEU project, and Alaa Tartir from the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. The findings were discussed by Vladimir Ateljević, Advisor to Serbian Minister for the EU integration, who also shared his experience as an official of a country receiving EU assistance in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association approach.
The BSF academic event was complemented by a Method, Career, and Networking Café, hosted on 12 October by EU-CIVCAP team: Ana E. Juncos of the University of Bristol (and the EU-CIVCAP Consortium Coordinator), Michael E. Smith, and Gilberto Algar-Faria (of the University of Bristol, and the EU-CIVCAP Project Officer). The Café was targeted at PhD students and early career researchers, providing them with an opportunity to learn about ways to advance their academic careers through interaction with the hosts in a less formal setting.
Published: 30 October 2017
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Ana E. Juncos is the EU-CIVCAP Consortium Co-ordinator and team leader at the University of Bristol. She is a Reader in European Politics at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies.
Annemarie Peen Rodt is Associate Professor at the Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College, Copenhagen.
Cristian Barbieri is a junior researcher at IAI. His research interests concern mainly internal and external security of EU and CSDP Missions.
Erik Plänitz holds a Master Degree from the University of Gothenburg with a major in Global Studies.
Filip Ejdus is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade.
Gilberto Algar-Faria is the Project Officer and Senior Research Associate for EU-CIVCAP at the University of Bristol, where he is also a PhD Candidate in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies.
Katarina Đokić has worked as a researcher in Belgrade Centre for Security Policy since March 2012.
Michael E. Smith is Professor of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen.
Peter Horne Zartsdahl is a PhD Candidate at Roskilde University, where his research focuses on the comparative study of civil-military synergies in EU’s missions on the Balkans and Horn of Africa.
Pieter Cornelis Feith is a senior diplomat and international crisis management expert. He is the former International Civilian Representative for Kosovo and head of the International Civilian Office.
Sonja Stojanović Gajić has been BCSP Director since 2006. She holds an MA in Politics, Security and Integration with distinction from the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London.
Tobias Pietz is Deputy Head of the Analysis Division at the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) in Berlin.