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The 2015 Sakharov Prize

12-10-2015

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The African Peace and Security Architecture: Still under Construction

14-03-2014

The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) was established by the African Union in collaboration with Africa’s Regional Economic Communities with the goal of preventing, managing and resolving conflicts on the continent. The impetus for its creation in 2001, in parallel with the African Union, was the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The African Union's Constitutive Act allows it to intervene in a member state in grave circumstances, such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Yet ...

The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) was established by the African Union in collaboration with Africa’s Regional Economic Communities with the goal of preventing, managing and resolving conflicts on the continent. The impetus for its creation in 2001, in parallel with the African Union, was the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The African Union's Constitutive Act allows it to intervene in a member state in grave circumstances, such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Yet building the APSA has been slower than expected, and to some extent the process remains incomplete. The African Standby Force, the APSA’s military and police arm, has yet to become fully operational, and the African Union’s Peace Fund remains under-funded. As a result, the EU has become a major investor in the project. To date, EUR 740 million have been earmarked by the EU to establish the African Peace and Security Architecture and to conduct peace support operations, such as the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and the Mission to the Central African Republic.

The g7+ group of fragile states

10-10-2013

The g7+ is an association of 18 fragile and conflict-affected states that have joined forces to share experiences and promote a new development framework based on five peace-building and state-building goals. The group brings together: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste and Togo.

The g7+ is an association of 18 fragile and conflict-affected states that have joined forces to share experiences and promote a new development framework based on five peace-building and state-building goals. The group brings together: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste and Togo.

The "New Deal" for engagement in fragile states

09-10-2013

Despite steadily increasing inflows of official development assistance (ODA), fragile and conflict-affected states lag considerably behind other developing countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 target. Fragility and armed conflicts have seriously undermined their development. The "New Deal" framework has been specifically designed for and tailored to the development needs of fragile states. It challenges traditional donor-led development concepts, but has since ...

Despite steadily increasing inflows of official development assistance (ODA), fragile and conflict-affected states lag considerably behind other developing countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 target. Fragility and armed conflicts have seriously undermined their development. The "New Deal" framework has been specifically designed for and tailored to the development needs of fragile states. It challenges traditional donor-led development concepts, but has since been endorsed by more then 40 countries and international organisations, including the EU.

An Adequate and Balanced Response to the Nairobi Mall Terrorist Attack

25-09-2013

The EU has already offered Kenya its full support to respond to the terrorist attack in Nairobi and to promote stability in the region. The Westgate mall, claimed by the al-Qaeda-linked Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab, has left 67 people dead. Al-Shabaab has said it targeted the shopping centre — a symbol of Kenya's economic emergence — in retaliation for the country's involvement in Somalia. Kenya has been involved in Somalia since October 2011 and is part of the African Union Mission in Somalia ...

The EU has already offered Kenya its full support to respond to the terrorist attack in Nairobi and to promote stability in the region. The Westgate mall, claimed by the al-Qaeda-linked Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab, has left 67 people dead. Al-Shabaab has said it targeted the shopping centre — a symbol of Kenya's economic emergence — in retaliation for the country's involvement in Somalia. Kenya has been involved in Somalia since October 2011 and is part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The EU has contributed EUR 440 million to AMISOM since 2007 and is engaged in three different Common Security and Defence Policy missions in the region. At the 'New Deal for Somalia' conference organised on 16 September in Brussels, EUR 1.8 billion were pledged for the country's reconstruction. Although al-Shabaab has lost control of numerous territories in Somalia, its destructive capabilities persist. The Westgate mall attack clearly highlights the complex political and security links between Kenya and Somalia. Al-Shabaab also attacked Uganda in 2010 for its involvement in Somalia and since 2011 has carried out a series of gun and grenades attacks inside Kenya. These have led to a growing mistrust of the Somali community. The Kenyan police has also indiscriminately targeted and abused Somalis. Despite diplomatic tensions, the EU should be ready to support Kenya respond to the attack, whilst bearing in mind some of the potential pitfalls. It is important to prevent the Somali community from becoming a scapegoat for the attack. The initial reactions from Kenyan society and authorities strike a positive note. The EU should contribute to strengthening Kenya's security forces, but this should be linked to deeper reforms that increase their transparency and accountability. The EU should see that, to avoid a potential backlash, any Kenyan response towards the Somali conflict is supported by the Somali federal government and regional organisations.

Somalia : Concluding the Transitional Period or Opening a New One ?

09-01-2013

After parliamentary elections ushered in a new government, Somalia seems to have arrived at the end of its transitional period. Yet old problems and challenges remain. Two decades of conflicts and humanitarian crises identify Somalia as a 'failed state'. The EU is strongly committed to all aspects of Somalia's peace process. A number of international forces are present in the country. Even if welcome by the international community, Somali's recent political process had important shortcomings. A positive ...

After parliamentary elections ushered in a new government, Somalia seems to have arrived at the end of its transitional period. Yet old problems and challenges remain. Two decades of conflicts and humanitarian crises identify Somalia as a 'failed state'. The EU is strongly committed to all aspects of Somalia's peace process. A number of international forces are present in the country. Even if welcome by the international community, Somali's recent political process had important shortcomings. A positive outcome of the recent election is the selection of a president with no links to the country's old ruling class. The government must gain control of the Somali territory. The previous Transitional Federal Government's lack of legitimacy hampered cooperation on humanitarian aid. To achieve peace, Somalia needs to become a functional state at all levels.

CSDP Missions and Operations : Lessons Learned Processes

13-04-2012

The first Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission was launched in 2003. Since then the EU has launched 24 civilian missions and military operations. Despite the tendency of military operations to attract more attention, the majority of CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) interventions have been civilian missions. Since the beginning the actors involved in CSDP recognised the need to learn from the different aspects of missions and operations. The tools and methodologies to guarantee ...

The first Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission was launched in 2003. Since then the EU has launched 24 civilian missions and military operations. Despite the tendency of military operations to attract more attention, the majority of CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) interventions have been civilian missions. Since the beginning the actors involved in CSDP recognised the need to learn from the different aspects of missions and operations. The tools and methodologies to guarantee a successful learning process have evolved over time together with the evolution of CSDP. This study represents a first stock-taking exercise of the lessons learned processes at the EU level. The study is divided in three major components. The first component looks at the available literature on the subject of knowledge management with regard to CSDP missions and operations. The study then draws upon short case-studies from the 21 missions and operations to-date with a specific focus on the lessons identified and (possibly) learned in practice. The study concludes with a number of recommendations targeted at how the lessons learning processes could be improved including specific recommendations on the role of the European Parliament.

Maritime piracy originating in Somalia

09-03-2012

Maritime piracy around Somalia is costing billions and hurting global trade. In the context of one of the world's poorest countries, international responses have not been completely effective.

Maritime piracy around Somalia is costing billions and hurting global trade. In the context of one of the world's poorest countries, international responses have not been completely effective.

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