Following on from Lesson 23 on the overall coordination of the EU’s integrated approach to foreign/security policy in general and conflict prevention and peacebuilding in particular, it is also clear that such an approach should be pursued (as far as feasibly possible) by the EU’s own Delegations, institutional partners, and other stakeholders/local owners. This point also dovetails with Lessons 11, 12, and 19 on partnerships, as well as Lessons 13 and 14 on local capacity-building.
Specifically, DL 4.2 examined the EU’s experience with key partners (the UN and the OSCE) in several host countries (Kosovo, Mali, and Armenia), while DL 4.3 noted the role of EU Delegations and external partners in developing the overall integrated approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding tasks. As the EU has permanent Delegations in most if not all prospective host countries, and often works with local institutional partners on conflict prevention and peacebuilding tasks, it is critical that these actors are familiar with and ready to support the EU’s integrated approach to foreign/security policy. This should extend to both the deployment/sharing of material resources among such actors and the overall conceptual or strategic plan designed to manage various conflict prevention and peacebuilding tasks in a host country.
DL 4.3 also recommended that EU Delegations in particular should be modernised to help enhance the integrated approach, and their operating models updated. This should include reframing the terms of reference, mandates, physical presence, and operational models of staff working in Delegations, while also establishing new accountability lines and coordination platforms for fast mobilisation of capacities and resources when coping with conflict-related pressures in the host country. In addition to improving overall performance, modernising and making Delegations more coherent in their operations would also contribute to a more positive perception of the EU as a partner for other international actors.
Finally, DL 4.3 also noted the importance of orienting the integrated approach towards greater harmony with other actors involved in conflict prevention and peacebuilding tasks (the UN, NATO, the World Bank, the OSCE, regional organisations, and civil society). Joint assessment of operational options and initiatives along the humanitarian-development peace continuum should be intensified to deliver comprehensive responses in the short-medium-long term and tackle specific country-level challenges. Similarly, more systematic information sharing, dialogue on regional and thematic cases, and exercises/simulations of crisis response should be promoted.
The integrated approach should be developed not only among policy-makers in Brussels but also among all EU Delegations and by local partners in specific host countries. This should be part of a broader strategy regarding the general modernisation of EU Delegations as well as joint information-sharing, fact-finding, policy planning, and implementation of conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives by the EU’s local partners and other stakeholders.
Partners in conflict prevention and peacebuilding: How the EU, UN and OSCE exchange civilian capabilities in Kosovo, Mali and Armenia
Authors: Dijkstra, H., E. Mahr, P. Petrov, K. Đokić, P.H. Zartsdahl
Lead Institution: Maastricht University
Published: 4 September 2017
[PDF, ~0.6MB; click to access]
Report on EU comprehensive approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding
Authors: Faleg, G., N. Pirozzi, B. Venturi and N. Habbida
Lead Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
Published: 23 March 2018
[PDF, ~0.8MB; click to access]
The EU’s Comprehensive Approach and its Implementation
Authors: Zartsdahl, P.H., K. Đokić and S. Simons
Lead Institution: Roskilde University
Published: 29 November 2018
[PDF, ~2.1MB; click to access]
Regions/countries: Armenia Kosovo Mali
Institutions: NATO OSCE UN World Bank
Policy phases: Planning Policy-making Implementation
Conflict-cycle stages: Conflict management Crisis response
Cross-cutting issues: Local ownership
Topics: Personnel Resources Strategy