From the category archives:

Conflict, security and resilience

June 8, 2012

A new conflict-free standard can build confidence in gold

Posted: 14:56 PM UTC

by Terry Heymann on June 8, 2012

++ GUEST CONTRIBUTION ++ Mining is a driver of development but despite its capacity to create wealth and alleviate poverty, it can also be a potential source of finance for armed conflicts in certain high-risk and fragile areas. A number of multilateral initiatives are under way to address this issue and to reduce the risks. The World Gold Council is pioneering in developing a “conflict free gold standard”, and ECDPM will hold a consultation to gather inputs from various stakeholders before the World Gold Council finalises the standard. In a guest contribution Terry Heymann, Director, ...


June 8, 2012

Charting change at the European External Action Service (EEAS)

Posted: 13:54 PM UTC

by Andrew Sherriff on June 8, 2012

Organisational charts in general can’t tell you much about what happens behind the scenes in a company or an institution. They don’t show who is in or out of favour, they don’t map influence and informal lines of communication dictating priorities.  However, when looking at previous versions and updates, they help to understand how an organisation is evolving, or at least the formal thinking about how it should. Last week the EEAS published a new version of its organisational chart (dated 1st of May 2012), displaying its internal structure and stating the names of key ...


May 25, 2012

Another paper tiger? New commitments to joint EU action in response to fragility

Posted: 15:30 PM UTC

by Simone Gortz on May 25, 2012

Andrew Sherriff co-authored this article. ++ SERIES: ECDPM ANALYSIS OF NEW EU DEVELOPMENT POLICY REFORM PROPOSALS ++ Fragility is notoriously and closely related to human suffering, volatile security situations and to ineffectiveness of traditional aid. The continuum of fragility – conceptualizations which characterise the relative strength or weakness of states on a continuum with state failure and collapse at one extreme and states characterized by serious vulnerabilities at the other - is high on the global political agenda. EU Foreign Ministers acknowledged that some countries are “facing increasing fragility” and committed to target their resources ...


March 9, 2012

Approaching fragile states from a complexity perspective

Posted: 11:04 AM UTC

by Frauke de Weijer on March 9, 2012

Fragility, as a concept that refers to weak institutional capacity, poor governance, political instability, and frequently conflict, has moved up the international agenda in recent years. As none of the ‘fragile states’ have reached any of the MDGs, these are typically the countries where developmental progress has shown persistent weakness or failure. In an interesting article on his aid on the edge of chaos blog, Ben Ramalingam refers to state fragility as a “wicked problem”, and explores how ideas from complexity theory can help identify new ways of approaching this difficult issue. To me, having worked ...


January 13, 2012

On the EEAS’ 1st birthday: have EU-Africa relations benefitted from the past year?

Posted: 13:14 PM UTC

by Andrew Sherriff on January 13, 2012

In the various analyses of the European External Action Service (EEAS) one year on, those who view the glass “half empty” (mostly independent analysts, journalists and think tanks) seem to have the upper hand on those who view it as “half full” (the official report).  Key questions for assessing the EEAS’ performance in relation to Africa are: has the EEAS helped to upgrade the political dialogue between the EU and Africa, and increased the coherence of EU policies, while also furthering development commitments? Africa as a whole, like many other regions and issues, has struggled ...

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December 9, 2011

What’s in the “New Deal” for engagement in fragile states?

Posted: 16:52 PM UTC

by Fernanda Faria on December 9, 2011

Last week, stakeholders involved in the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding have presented and endorsed an agreement on a “New Deal for engagement in fragile states” at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan. Fernanda Faria analyses what’s new in the New Deal, its potential and some of the challenges to engage differently in fragile states. Fragile and conflict-affected countries are often rated among the poorest and least developed. International aid to these countries focuses on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aid effectiveness, which do not address conflict, security and justice ...


++ SERIES: ECDPM ANALYSIS OF NEW EU DEVELOPMENT POLICY REFORM PROPOSALS ++ When it comes to violent conflict, the common mantra is that prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. This is also illustrated by the findings of a recent evaluation of support to conflict prevention and peace building. In Georgia, for instance, the contracted amounts to be spent by the European Commission increased from €19 million in 2007 before the escalation of a conflict with Russia, to €72 million in 2008, the year of the clashes, and €116 in 2009 as a result of ...


November 18, 2011

A new EU impetus on conflict and fragility, or more of the same? Part 1: institutions and evaluation

Posted: 14:19 PM UTC

by Andrew Sherriff on November 18, 2011

++ SERIES: ECDPM ANALYSIS OF NEW EU DEVELOPMENT POLICY REFORM PROPOSALS ++ The Arab spring and recent evolutions in Europe’s development policy have focussed those concerned with EU external action on new EU buzzwords of “deep democracy” and “inclusive growth”. Yet other developments over the last 12 months provide somewhat of an indication of how the EU institutions plan to deal with longer-term approaches to conflict and fragility. This article outlines the EU’s approach and takes a closer look at the institutional setup and discusses findings of a recent evaluation. The challenge of dealing with ...

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November 8, 2011

Questioning old certainties – Challenges Inbrief 2012

Posted: 12:49 PM UTC

by ECDPM Challenges Team on November 8, 2011

ECDPM is currently reflecting on the content and orientation of the next issue of its annual Challenges Inbrief. This publication is published at the start of each year, and aims to identify key issues for policy making for EU-Africa relations in the year ahead. The paper, in traditional ECDPM style, aims to be informative and ‘facilitating’, helping readers identify key debates and moments in EU development cooperation and external action. The writing process provides us with an opportunity to take a step back from our day to day work to look forward and to reflect ...


September 23, 2011

The EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel – An indicator for the future of EU External Action?

Posted: 21:16 PM UTC

by Andrew Sherriff on September 23, 2011

In the field of foreign policy and external action, the promise of the European Union’s (EU) Lisbon Treaty was for a more integrated and coherent EU, with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European External Action Service (EEAS) at the helm. The EEAS has just published the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel region, and as it is one of the first integrated geographic strategies put forward under the new institutional setup, it might be read as an indicator for the future of EU ...