EU capabilities for conflict prevention and peacebuilding are highly contingent on possessing adequate resources to carry out certain tasks, whether in the form of physical/material or ideational/conceptual resources (including ICT/data). Some of these resources also may be viewed as permanent or standing capacities largely under the control of EU institutions (i.e., standing resources), while others are compiled on a case-by-case basis through contributions by EU member states and/or contracts (i.e., mission resources). EU-CIVCAP research has already identified several areas of opportunity here, beginning with the issue of standing resources.
As noted in other lessons, DL 2.1 found a delay in the EU’s implementation of the Goalkeeper system; if this issue is addressed it might help to improve the EU’s pool of standing staff resources for conflict prevention tasks (among other things).
In addition, DL 2.1 also noted that the EU might benefit from integrating data generated by simple (i.e., mobile phones) and more complex (drones, satellites, etc.) technologies within its early warning system and from providing a common picture and understanding of a conflict-related situation among the various actors operating in the conflict prevention and peacebuilding realm, given ICT’s function in generating, collecting, and sharing data. This finding was echoed by the research in DL 3.1 in two ways: 1) a need for the EU to reflect upon how new technologies such as ICT and Big Data could be added, in a sustainable manner, to the existing technological tools for early warning and conflict analysis; and 2) a need to assure that technological tools for early warning and conflict analysis are aligned with EU policies on conflict prevention and vice versa. DL 3.1 also found, more generally, that the EU would benefit from updating, mainstreaming, and coordinating various ICT/Big Data capacities and their use within different services dealing with conflict early warning and conflict analysis, in order to bridge gaps, improve interconnectivity, and avoid duplication. This would require investment, of course, but could help make the EU more cost-efficient in terms of deploying other resources when and where they would be most effective.
Similarly, DL 3.2 observed that the EEAS/Commission should make sure that SECPOL.2 and DEVCO B.7 are adequately resourced in terms of personnel and expertise, while any implementation plans for the EUGS should ensure that conflict prevention and peacebuilding is prioritised across all thematic areas and adequately resourced.
Finally, DL 4.1 found that funding for conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities could be moved from the operational CFSP budget to the administrative budget of the EEAS as necessary (such as to improve mission support services), while the EU should attempt to devise some form of standing civilian capacities (including administrative staff) for rapid deployment and its support, which would be especially useful during the early warning/conflict prevention/crisis response stages of a conflict. DL 4.1 also notes that various forms of this model have been used with success by the UN and the OSCE.
Make better use of ICT/data in conflict prevention activities and use/enhance standing CFSP budgetary resources more effectively.
DL 2.1: Procedures, Personnel and Technologies for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: An Assessment of EU Member States’ Capabilities
Authors: De Zan, T., P. Tessari and B. Venturi
Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
Published: 30 November 2016
[PDF, ~2.1MB; click to access]
DL 3.1: Report on Technological Shortcomings in Early Warning and Conflict Analysis
Authors: Berglund, J. and D. Bruckert
Institution: European Union Satellite Centre
Published: 30 January 2017
[PDF, ~1.5MB; click to access]
DL 3.2: The EU’s Capabilities for Conflict Prevention
Authors: Davis, L., N. Habbida and A. Penfrat
Institution: European Peacebuilding Liaison Office
Published: 30 January 2017
[PDF, ~1MB; click to access]
DL 4.1: Reacting to Conflict: Civilian Capabilities in the EU, UN and OSCE
Authors: Dijkstra, H., P. Petrov and E. Mahr
Institution: Maastricht University
Published: 2 November 2016
[PDF, ~1.6MB; click to access]
Policy phases: Planning Implementation
Conflict-cycle stages: Conflict prevention Crisis response Conflict management Conflict resolution & peacebuilding
Cross-cutting issues: Warning-response gap
Topics: Resources Technology