Home About us Regions News and Events Publications Resources Contact


Adequate institutional set ups and practices are critical to address and strengthen the links between early warning and early action. The effective prevention of violent conflict requires a solid and mainstreamed capacity to analyse, anticipate, monitor as well as a political will to respond to the drivers of potential conflicts as early as possible. Even when one institution has the capacity to deliver on each of these requirements, it also needs to ensure that they are well articulated and ultimately contribute to a similar objective which should be to prevent a conflict to resurge or to break out by responding in an appropriate and meaningful way.

More than being the world’s biggest aid donor, the EU has gradually shown its willingness to become a global player. The development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the deployment of EU operations, the adoption of a EU Programme for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts (2001) and of the Council Conclusions on a EU response to situations of fragility (2007) are some of the milestones which endow the EU with a stronger role in preventing and responding to conflict. However, in spite of this growing engagement, failures to prevent genocides, violent conflicts and countries slipping into fragile situations, there is a need to challenge the impediments and to support the good practices to improve the EU’s early warning and response capabilities.

The cluster partners will therefore analyse the institutional aspects of EU early warning and assess the extent to which they are applied in-country and in Brussels to inform policies, strategies and programming processes. The objective of this collective work is to identify recommendations to overcome challenges and constraints so that the EU, under the new Lisbon Treaty architecture, can better link early warning to effective & timely response to prevent conflict and build peace. The focal countries of this cluster include Armenia, Bolivia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Venezuela.

The If-EW partners collaborating in this work are The Netherlands Institute of International Relations (‘Clingendael’), La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE), International Alert (Alert), University of Coimbra’s Peace Study group (NEP/CES) and Saferworld (SW) .


Bookmark and Share


View all improving institutional capacity for early warning news go

Latest Improving Institutional Capacity for Early Warning Publications

Improving Institutional Capacity for Early Warning Resources go

publication cover

Early Warning and Conflict Prevention by the EU
Learning lessons from the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya

Author(s): Sébastien Babaud, James Ndung’u (Saferworld)

This report looks at the way conflict early warning, as well as other conflict-related information and analysis, was taken into account, processed and acted upon by EU actors in Kenya, before, during and after the violence which broke out after the December 2007 presidential elections. Drawing from this experience, the report proposes a number of recommendations to improve the EU early warning-early response system. It also focuses on the Kenyan early warning and peacebuilding architecture, the challenges faced and opportunities to overcome them. The report suggests the EU should consider empowering conflict-affected communities to identify their main security threats and to respond to them in a constructive and peaceful way to improve the link between early warning and early response.

publication cover

Improving Institutional Capacity For Early Warning
Synthesis Report

Author(s): Terri Beswick (Clingendael)

As EU external action makes the transition from its pre- to post-Lisbon reality, the challenge is to implement an early warning (EW) system that matches the goal of early action to prevent conflicts. The Lisbon Treaty provided a strong mandate for EU institutions to engage with conflict prevention; however, the corresponding political leadership is not evident. This research cluster has yielded new insights into the working of EU actors and instruments on EW responses for conflict prevention. However, the overarching findings reveal a policy without direction. In response, the report calls for a dedicated EU strategy for EW conflict prevention.

publication cover

EU Early Warning and Early Response Capacity for Conflict Prevention in the Post-Lisbon Era

Author(s): Terri Beswick (Clingendael)

The post-Lisbon external action architecture for EU conflict prevention is by no means established. As of now, any number of institutional, organisational and even staffing decisions have yet to be made. Against this backdrop, this mapping of the EU’s institutional capacity for early warning and conflict prevention represents a tentative overview of where we are now and the institutional framework that will govern EU early warning and response actions for the foreseeable future. The mapping discusses what has changed in the post-Lisbon era and presents the new bodies and initiatives that have been established as a result of these changes.

View all improving institutional capacity for early warning publications


PARTNERS Partner Login
line Adelphi Research line Clingendael line ELIAMEP line FRIDE line International Alert line Interpeace line Nucleo de Estudos para a Paz of the Centre for Social Studies line PDCI line Saferworld line Search for Common Ground

* The Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP-EW) is financed by the European Union. The contents of its website and all documents produced by IfP-EW are the sole responsibility of its members and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. EU Flag