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 Full text 
Monday, 11 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Building EU capacity on conflict prevention and mediation (short presentation)

  Soraya Post, Rapporteur. – Mr President, the European Union is, at its core, a peace project. As such, we must remain committed to reinforcing our role as a global actor for peace. The main idea of the report is to reinforce the institutional capacities of the EU for conflict prevention and mediation, as well as to increase the role of the European Parliament in this area.

Our most important suggestions are to establish an EU High—Level Advisory Board on conflict prevention and mediation under the Vice President/High Representative. This advisory board will set up a pool of senior political mediators and conflict prevention experts. A High—Level Advisory Board for the EU also reflects what the UN has successfully put in place under the new Secretary-General.

We also need an EU Special Envoy for Peace. There is indeed a need for a clear mandate on how to build and promote peace at all levels in the world. Furthermore, the establishment of additional institutional mechanisms, such as task forces for specific conflict prevention situations, are also important aspects on how to strengthen the institutional capacities for conflict prevention and mediation.

These horizontal mechanisms are a very effective and pragmatic approach to coordinate EU institutional work on the ground. The establishment of a dedicated Council working group on conflict prevention and mediation is also a tool put forward in the report. The Council must put conflict prevention and mediation high on its agenda and step up its work through focused and informed measures.

When it comes to the European Parliament, its growing role in political mediation processes – notably via DEG activities – is more and more recognised. The report also suggests the appointment of a Vice—President responsible for coordinating the mediation and facilitation of dialogue activities. A yearly report to Parliament on the progress made in implementing EU policy commitments on conflict prevention and mediation is also requested. Additionally, I have been clear on the budget issues. If we want the EU to act and to be efficient on conflict prevention and mediation, we absolutely need to ensure that the new MFF will foresee sufficient and earmarked financial resources.

We must also see the fundamental logic of the active work and representation of women with women’s experiences, youth and civil society at all stages of conflict prevention and mediation work. This is why I put great effort into mainstreaming the gender perspective in the report, in line with the internationally accepted Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. This i reinforced by the EU in the conclusions adopted by the Council on women, peace and security just a few months ago, in December 2018.

In their conclusions, the Council recalls the commitment of the European Union and its Member States to full implementation of the WPS Agenda, which consists of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and its follow-up resolutions, ensuring that the 1325 agenda is fully integrated into all EU policies and efforts. I am very surprised by the fact that gender mainstreaming was not accepted by a majority in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET).

In order to rebalance the report, I have now put forward amendments for the plenary on the following topics: to call for the EU to take a lead role in the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on women, peace and security; in the systematic establishment of a reconciliation and accountability mechanism; in the establishment of a pool of mediators that includes current and former members of the European Parliament; and in the establishment of a European women’s mediator network, and in gender budgeting.

Last updated: 10 September 2019Legal notice