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EU strategy in the Horn of Africa

07-12-2016

The Horn of Africa countries are plagued by violence and insecurity. A hub on the Red Sea trade and migration route, bordering the unstable areas of the Sahel and central Africa, the region is of strategic interest for the European Union. The EU has adopted an integrated framework to align various external policy programmes and instruments aimed at securing the region. However, strong antagonisms between the states concerned add to the difficulty of achieving a coordinated approach.

The Horn of Africa countries are plagued by violence and insecurity. A hub on the Red Sea trade and migration route, bordering the unstable areas of the Sahel and central Africa, the region is of strategic interest for the European Union. The EU has adopted an integrated framework to align various external policy programmes and instruments aimed at securing the region. However, strong antagonisms between the states concerned add to the difficulty of achieving a coordinated approach.

The EU security environment: Challenges and shifts

15-06-2016

Over the past few years, the world’s commitment to peace and its capacity to deal with evolving security challenges have been put to the test. The outcomes – an increasing number of refugees, an expanding network of terrorist organisations, some countries’ high dependency on international aid, and a relatively low level of respect for civil liberties around the world – demonstrate an urgent need for reflection and adaptation.

Over the past few years, the world’s commitment to peace and its capacity to deal with evolving security challenges have been put to the test. The outcomes – an increasing number of refugees, an expanding network of terrorist organisations, some countries’ high dependency on international aid, and a relatively low level of respect for civil liberties around the world – demonstrate an urgent need for reflection and adaptation.

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 maritime dimension of the EU's CSDP

05-09-2013

As piracy off Africa has become a global security issue, the need for the European Union (EU) to protect its interests at sea through a maritime dimension to its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has also been recognised.

As piracy off Africa has become a global security issue, the need for the European Union (EU) to protect its interests at sea through a maritime dimension to its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has also been recognised.

Assessing the EU’s Approach to Security Sector Reform (SSR)

23-01-2013

SSR activities are key for stabilizing fragile and post-conflict states through their emphasis on training, institutional reform and governance. The EU has engaged in aspects of SSR for the past decade through its CFSP/CSDP as well as development and enlargement policies. The recently launched CSDP missions in the Horn of Africa take place in a new institutional context, and address European security concerns in a fragile but geopolitically important region. The EU’s engagement with SSR in general ...

SSR activities are key for stabilizing fragile and post-conflict states through their emphasis on training, institutional reform and governance. The EU has engaged in aspects of SSR for the past decade through its CFSP/CSDP as well as development and enlargement policies. The recently launched CSDP missions in the Horn of Africa take place in a new institutional context, and address European security concerns in a fragile but geopolitically important region. The EU’s engagement with SSR in general and the Horn of Africa in particular shows the difficulties in simultaneously pursuing dual objectives of stability and institution-building and in adopting and coordinating long- and short-term approaches to the problems facing the region. To do justice to the holistic conception of SSR and its emphasis on accountability and democratic oversight, the training of security forces and capacity building needs to be framed in a long-term approach that aims for sustainable structural change. The creation of the EEAS has given the EU the right tools – but a continued emphasis on policy coordination is necessary to address old and new, institutional and operational, challenges so as to attain a comprehensive approach to SSR. The input and continued commitment of member states to CSDP also remains vital.

Externý autor

Eva GROSS (Free University of Brussels, Belgium) and Marine JACOB (TEPSA, BELGIUM - for the workshop report at annex)

The EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa : A Critical Assessment of Impact and Opportunities

03-10-2012

Adoption of the Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa should open new opportunities for successful engagement in the region. More coherent action creates the opportunity for the EU to be recognised in the region as an actor in its own right, and with the influence that the scale of its engagement should bring. The appointment of an EUSR for the Horn of Africa should allow the EU to speak more clearly with one voice in the region. Doing so would allow the EU to exploit more fully its comparative ...

Adoption of the Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa should open new opportunities for successful engagement in the region. More coherent action creates the opportunity for the EU to be recognised in the region as an actor in its own right, and with the influence that the scale of its engagement should bring. The appointment of an EUSR for the Horn of Africa should allow the EU to speak more clearly with one voice in the region. Doing so would allow the EU to exploit more fully its comparative advantage in the region: as a bloc, it is one of the most significant sources of assistance and investment into the region and an important trade partner. The EU is clearly active across the region, especially through high profile engagement in Somalia and the Sudans. However, quiet engagement in Ethiopia and Eritrea presents the greatest new opportunity to influence constructive shifts in regional security and economic dynamics. This was true before the recent death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and is even more the case now. Strengthening IGAD will also be essential if the region’s potential and the EU’s goals are to be realised.

Externý autor

Ahmed SOLIMAN, Alex VINES and Jason MOSLEY (Chatham House, United Kingdom)

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