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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.

publication cover Early Warning, Early Response? Learning Lessons from the 2010 Crisis in Kyrgyzstan

Author(s): Sébastien Babaud, Katya Quinn Judge (Saferworld)

This report examines the way conflict early warning, conflict-related information and analysis were taken into account, processed and acted upon by EU actors in Kyrgyzstan during the 2010 crisis. Drawing from this experience, the report proposes a number of recommendations to improve EU early warning-early response systems. It identifies local, national and international capacities involved in early warning and peacebuilding activities in Kyrgyzstan, the challenges they face and how they are trying to overcome them. The report suggests that, to improve the link between early warning and early response, the EU should consider empowering conflict-affected communities to identify their main security threats and respond to them in a constructive and peaceful way.

publication cover The EU’s Potential And Limits For Early Warning In Bolivia, Colombia And Venezuela

Author(s): Susanne Gratius (FRIDE)

Although all three are Andean countries, conflicts in Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela do not follow similar logic and require different responses from the EU. While tensions in Bolivia are part of a social conflict based on internal divisions, Colombia has still not resolved its armed conflict and Venezuela’s widespread violence is the result of de-institutionalisation and political polarisation. Due to its long-term engagement, strong presence and multiple contacts, the EU has an acknowledged and broad capacity for conflict analysis, prevention and resolution in Bolivia and Colombia. The EU’s engagement in those two countries contrasts with low visibility and a practical absence of security-related projects in Venezuela. This report stresses the need to improve early warning and conflict-prevention capacities in Bolivia and Colombia and calls for a European response on increasing violence in Venezuela.

publication cover Multilevel Dynamics in the EU’s Approach to Preventive Action in Armenia

Author(s): Maria Raquel Freire and Licínia Simão (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra)

The development of a partnership between the EU and the wider region, the South Caucasus, has raised expectations for peace and stability in the pan-European space, building on the EU’s presence and active policies. By looking at EU early warning and preventive diplomacy in Armenia, this report seeks to highlight challenges to and opportunities for EU policies, instruments and action, assessing the impact of EU engagement in preventive terms and with regard to the goal of promoting security and stability. The report advances policy recommendations regarding areas where there is room for improvement.

publication cover Conflict Early Warning Challenges in a Post War Context: The Case of the EU in Sri Lanka

Author(s): Mais Yacoub, International Alert

This report analyses the EU’s institutional capacity to carry out early warning, early action and conflict prevention in Sri Lanka. It looks critically at the post-war context in Sri Lanka, and the challenges and opportunities presented to the EU in this new chapter of the country’s history. Given the complexities of this post-war context, the report examines how the EU could ensure conflict trends which might lead to future outbreaks of violence are monitored and mitigated through a holistic integration of conflict monitoring and analysis using appropriate post war indicators, resulting in the appropriate early warning and action response.

publication cover Walk the Talk
The EU needs an effective early warning system to match its ambitions to prevent conflict and promote peace

Author(s): Lucia Montanaro and Julia Schünemann

This paper argues that given the EU’s global ambitions in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, a number of changes are necessary to improve the EU early warning and response system. The reforms of the Lisbon Treaty and the establishment of the EEAS do not go far enough: The scattered strands of the EU early warning system need to be woven together so that the EU can be cost effective and maximise its potential impact. The current system suffers from weaknesses in the production, communication, warning receptivity and disconnects between its early warning and early action. This paper identifies the key constraints to an effective system and suggests ways to overcome them.

publication cover Evaluating the EU’s role and challenges in Sudan and South Sudan
Sudan and South Sudan Case Study

Author(s): Joost van der Zwan

This report analyses the EU’s institutional capacity to carry out conflict early warning, early action, and conflict prevention in two of the most conflict-ridden and war-affected countries in the world: Sudan and South Sudan. It analyses the institutional aspects of EU conflict early warning approaches and assesses the extent to which they are applied in-country and in Brussels to inform policies, strategies and programming processes. It provides a number of recommendations on how the EU can overcome challenges and constraints so that it can better link early warning to effective & timely response to prevent conflict and build peace, under the new Lisbon Treaty architecture. The report concludes by noting that the EU needs to identify its peacebuilding niche in a heavily crowded field of actors. If it decides its niche is related to early warning, conflict prevention and peacebuilding, it needs to prove this through sustained political willingness to engage on the crucial conflict issues discussed above and invest heavily in building up its systems, networks, capacity and tools to be able to play a viable role in both Sudan and South Sudan. The key here would be to develop a coherent approach that is fully grounded in an understanding of the realities of the different conflicts, and developing and mobilising the type of complex political engagement and partnerships that are needed to deliver concrete results in terms of improved stability and security for the Sudanese and South Sudanese people.

publication cover The European Commission Early-warning Architecture and Crisis-response Capacity

Author(s): Sébastien Babaud and Natalia Mirimanova

Beyond being the world’s biggest aid donor, the European Union (EU) has gradually shown its willingness to become a “global actor”. Within the pre-Lisbon arrangements, the European Commission (EC) was in charge of designing and implementing EU development co-operation strategies and programmes. Over the years, it has developed policies and stepped up its capacities to analyse and respond to conflict through a wide range of instruments. Its wide presence on the ground, thanks to the network of EC Delegations around the world, added to the financial weight of its cooperation programmes, provided the EC with the potential to act as an important conflict prevention and crisis response actor. This paper intends to map out the pre-Lisbon EC early warning system and outlines some initial cross-cutting observations on its performance to date.

publication cover The Early warning and Conflict prevention Capability of the Council of the European Union
A Mapping of the Pre-Lisbon Period

Author(s): Clingendael Conflict Research Unit

In the mid-1990s, the atrocities in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia prompted renewed attention to the concept of early warning and underscored the importance of adequate systems to predict, prevent and respond to the eruption of violent conflict. Around that same time, the European Union started to build up its capacity to forecast crisis situations and, where possible and appropriate, take action accordingly. This paper provides an overview of the early warning and conflict prevention bodies and instruments within the Council of the European Union, depicting the state of affairs before the enactment of the Lisbon Treaty. It finds that while the Council made significant steps in building its early warning and conflict prevention architecture, there are still a number of possible gaps and limitations that merit further consideration.

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