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The EU and multilateral conflict management: The case of the Central African Republic

10-06-2020

The EU supports multilateralism in the furtherance of peace and security, acting as a partner to both the United Nations and regional organisations in the effort to prevent violent conflicts, mitigate their consequences and aid long-term recovery. A significant share of EU development cooperation is dedicated to fragile and conflict-afflicted countries or areas whose populations suffer prolonged humanitarian crises. One such country, the Central African Republic (CAR), ranks second last in the Human ...

The EU supports multilateralism in the furtherance of peace and security, acting as a partner to both the United Nations and regional organisations in the effort to prevent violent conflicts, mitigate their consequences and aid long-term recovery. A significant share of EU development cooperation is dedicated to fragile and conflict-afflicted countries or areas whose populations suffer prolonged humanitarian crises. One such country, the Central African Republic (CAR), ranks second last in the Human Development Index and has been confronted with a complex emergency requiring a multi-faceted response. The country remains profoundly affected by the violent upheaval that displaced a quarter of its population and decimated its economy in 2013. Multiple armed groups control or contest about 80 % of the national territory, benefiting from illicit activities and the lucrative circulation of arms, fighters and natural resources across porous borders, as the state builds up institutions that have traditionally held little sway outside the capital Bangui. The EU – the country's biggest donor – is part of a dense UN-led network of external actors committed to supporting the government and the national partners in the pursuit of peace among the parties to the conflict. No previous peace accord has been the object of so much effort from the international community as the political agreement brokered in February 2019 in Khartoum. Its tenuous implementation has reduced overall levels of insecurity without winning all hearts and minds. The EU has developed a particular synergy with the UN on security sector reform. As the CAR prepares for political wrangling at the ballot box in 2020, the EU will, at a pivotal moment, launch a new civilian Advisory Mission (EUAM RCA) alongside the existing military Training Mission (EUTM RCA).

Peace agreement in South Sudan: Ambitious but hard to deliver

02-02-2016

In August 2015, under considerable international pressure, a peace agreement was signed in South Sudan: it aimed to end the violent civil war that had broken out two years earlier. The conflict was caused by a number of entangled factors that can be boiled down to a struggle for power and oil in a devastated country. Soon after gaining independence in 2011, the rivalry between the two main leaders, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, that had been subdued, erupted again. In July 2013, President Kiir dismissed ...

In August 2015, under considerable international pressure, a peace agreement was signed in South Sudan: it aimed to end the violent civil war that had broken out two years earlier. The conflict was caused by a number of entangled factors that can be boiled down to a struggle for power and oil in a devastated country. Soon after gaining independence in 2011, the rivalry between the two main leaders, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, that had been subdued, erupted again. In July 2013, President Kiir dismissed Vice-President Machar. The following December, ethnic conflict erupted within the army, tragically spreading to the civilian population and leading to a humanitarian catastrophe. The 2015 peace agreement is an important benchmark towards peace and reconciliation, as it addresses the main issues: establishment of an inclusive government; demilitarisation and reinsertion in civilian life of a large number of well-equipped militias; proper mechanisms for transitional justice and reparation; immediate measures to facilitate humanitarian access; and a consistent programme to redress the economy. Nevertheless, progress towards implementation of the peace deal is slow: key structures such as the transitional government and the 'hybrid' court have not yet been put in place. Building confidence between the current head of state and his main opponent is a challenging task for international mediators.

Activation of Article 42(7) TEU: France's request for assistance and Member States’ responses

10-12-2015

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, France has requested aid and assistance from the other Member States based on Article 42(7) TEU. France's request is the first activation of the mutual assistance clause since Article 42(7) TEU was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. Member States expressed their solidarity and political support to France instantly and unanimously. Within days, several Member States, among them Germany and the United Kingdom, decided on a series of initial ...

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, France has requested aid and assistance from the other Member States based on Article 42(7) TEU. France's request is the first activation of the mutual assistance clause since Article 42(7) TEU was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. Member States expressed their solidarity and political support to France instantly and unanimously. Within days, several Member States, among them Germany and the United Kingdom, decided on a series of initial contributions. More decisions are expected in the days and weeks to come from several other Member States, subject, in some cases, to parliamentary approval. This will allow France to reconsider its engagements and redeploy its military. Furthermore, it could contribute to enhancing intelligence sharing and stepping up counter-terrorism cooperation. There is also a window of opportunity to strengthen political cooperation, as Member States are expressing their full support to the Vienna process for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.

EU Trust Funds for external action: First uses of a new tool

27-11-2015

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds ...

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds. The first two EU Trust Funds were created in 2014: the Bêkou EU Trust Fund (€108 million), focusing on the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic and the Madad Fund (€542 million), dealing with the response to the Syrian crisis. As part of intensifying efforts to tackle the refugee crisis, the European Commission and Spain have also set up an Emergency Trust Fund for stability, to address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. The new fund has an initial budget of €1.8 billion and targets 23 countries in the Sahel and the Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa and North Africa. The bulk of funding has so far come from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF). By comparison, Member State contributions to the Trust Funds have to date been relatively low. The European Commission and the European Parliament are therefore urging Member States to match the EU budget and EDF contributions to the Trust Funds. The Commission's aim is to increase the amounts in the Madad Fund and the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to €1 billion and €3.6 billion, respectively.

The European Year for Development: Peace and Stability

07-05-2015

Conflict and poverty have a circular relation: violence negatively affects development and vice versa – poverty is often one of the root causes of conflict. The EU has long recognised the need for conflict prevention, resolution and peace building, as well as for addressing the root causes of conflict, which include poverty, weak governance and human rights abuses. The EU increasingly works to better harmonise its security and development objectives, as well as to coordinate its external policy tools ...

Conflict and poverty have a circular relation: violence negatively affects development and vice versa – poverty is often one of the root causes of conflict. The EU has long recognised the need for conflict prevention, resolution and peace building, as well as for addressing the root causes of conflict, which include poverty, weak governance and human rights abuses. The EU increasingly works to better harmonise its security and development objectives, as well as to coordinate its external policy tools in a 'comprehensive approach'. The European Parliament (EP) has welcomed this coordination, while also asking that anti-poverty objectives not be marginalised, and that humanitarian aid not serve political ends. The EU has dedicated financial instruments for promoting peace; they include the African Peace Facility and the Instrument contributing to Security and Peace. The EP has also underscored the need for a long-term engagement with fragile states and for ensuring that women participate in resolving conflicts and building democracy.

Humanitarian Aid: Crises, Trends, Challenges

26-08-2014

As the humanitarian community prepares for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2016, the backdrop is far from easy. The scale of natural and man-made disasters is daunting, vulnerability and fragility are increasing, funding shortfalls become constant, operating environments grow increasingly problematic, and the humanitarian system itself remains highly complex despite multiple waves of reform. Although humanitarian action has become more effective over ...

As the humanitarian community prepares for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2016, the backdrop is far from easy. The scale of natural and man-made disasters is daunting, vulnerability and fragility are increasing, funding shortfalls become constant, operating environments grow increasingly problematic, and the humanitarian system itself remains highly complex despite multiple waves of reform. Although humanitarian action has become more effective over the years, actors must continue to search for ways to better prevent and prepare for disasters, and to respond in a manner that is more flexible and better adapted to new realities and the needs of afflicted populations while alleviating suffering, maintaining dignity and saving lives - the ultimate objective of humanitarian work. The EU has been a key player in international humanitarian policy. It has substantial clout in shaping future humanitarian action on a wide range of issues. These include principled and needs-based action, enhanced disaster preparedness and management, resilience-building, partnerships with non-traditional actors and emerging donors, innovative approaches and greater effectiveness and accountability, for both EU and international efforts. The European Parliament has several options to participate actively in these discussions and play a formative role in shaping humanitarian outcomes.

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.

Crisis in Central African Republic: the EU response

30-01-2014

Long viewed as a fragile state, the Central African Republic (CAR) is now confronted with a deep political, security and humanitarian crisis, which reached a peak in December 2013. The EU is the main donor to CAR and has stepped up its humanitarian and development aid in response to the crisis.

Long viewed as a fragile state, the Central African Republic (CAR) is now confronted with a deep political, security and humanitarian crisis, which reached a peak in December 2013. The EU is the main donor to CAR and has stepped up its humanitarian and development aid in response to the crisis.

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.

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