From the category archives:


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 ...


++ 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 ...


February 28, 2011

Conflict prevention and peacebuilding inside the EEAS

Posted: 03:55 AM UTC

by ECDPM Editorial Team on February 28, 2011

The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) applauds the creation of the European External Action Service’s Directorate for Conflict Prevention and Security Policy and within it a Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Mediation Unit, but calls for the allocation of more staff to the unit to enable it to fulfil this role. EPLO also calls for the unit to be more integrated with the other EU bodies which play a role in conflict and security policy.


January 31, 2011

China’s growing role in African peace and security

Posted: 08:45 AM UTC

by ECDPM Editorial Team on January 31, 2011

This report from Saferworld critically assesses China’s growing role in Africa and its effect on both the factors that drive conflict and those that promote peace. The report takes a thematic approach, looking at a number of topics: China’s bilateral relations with African states; its military co-operation with their armed forces; the China-Africa arms trade; China’s relations with African regional organisations; its involvement in international co-operation; China’s role in peacekeeping and peacebuilding; and its economic engagements on the continent. The report draws on a wide spectrum of views and perspectives from Chinese, African and international ...


December 20, 2010

Bridging the credibility gap: Challenges for ACP-EU relations in 2011

Posted: 11:26 AM UTC

by ECDPM Editorial Team on December 20, 2010

Relations between the European Union and its partners in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) are in a parlous state. Past readers of ECDPM’s annual Challenges Paper know that we regularly refer to ACP-EU relations as being at a critical juncture, and this is certainly true at the start of 2011. The EU’s credibility in much of the ACP is at an all-time low, and in the EU many seem to have lost faith in the future of the partnership with the ACP. Moreover, there is a collective failure to recognise that in the ...


December 20, 2010

Evaluating the European Commission’s support to conflict prevention and peacebuilding

Posted: 11:24 AM UTC

by ECDPM Editorial Team on December 20, 2010

Prior to launching the full evaluation of the European Commission’s support to conflict prevention and peacebuilding (CPPB) the EC’s Joint Evaluation Unit required that a concept study be undertaken to clarify the approach and questions to be tackled.  ECDPM contributed to this. A part of the study was to tackle the key question of what is meant by an “integrated approach” to CPPB which is often seen as key to the EC (and EU as well as other agencies) vision for engagement.  The concept study notes that there are four different, but inter-related, elements of ...


October 4, 2010

Africa-EU cooperation on peace and security in Africa and its implications for other areas of Africa-EU relations

Posted: 06:22 AM UTC

by ECDPM Editorial Team on October 4, 2010

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) together with Institute for Security Studies in Addis Ababa (ISS) held a small informal lunch seminar on Africa-EU cooperation on Peace and Security in Africa and its implications for other areas of Africa-EU relations on Thursday the 23rd of September 2010.  Presentations were given by ISS and ECDPM and policy-makers and officials from Europe and African representations in Brussels participated. The meeting discussed issues associated with the continued development of African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the next Action Plan of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy focusing ...


September 10, 2010

Towards a peace-building strategy for the European External Action Service

Posted: 14:30 PM UTC

by ECDPM Editorial Team on September 10, 2010

The EU could develop a new kind of normative foreign policy and overcome some of the shortcomings of traditional diplomatic services according to this paper from the European Peace Building Office (EPLO). The European External Action Service (EEAS) could work constructively with non-state actors and transcend a narrow approach of security. Peace-building encompasses a broad range of approaches to conflict, including prevention of violent conflict, tackling of the root causes of conflict and emphasising human security. The paper contains ten suggestions for action which could serve to inform the structure and functioning of the EEAS.