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"Global civil society, new diplomacies and the EU External Action. Transforming socio-environmental conflicts through non-violent international support of empowerment processes."

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Supporting peaceful conflict resolution

An EU project examined strategies for fostering non-violent resolution of social and environmental problems. Comparing cases from Europe and abroad, the study provided recommendations for EU conflict management and prevention programmes.

Climate Change and Environment

Civil conflicts about environmental and social issues are becoming more frequent and more violent. European agencies often act as mediators, yet their use of a 'conflict transformation' approach in support of non-violent action could make such work more effective. The EU-funded TRANSCON project aimed to analyse the potential role of the concept in terms of EU External Action. The two-year study examined strategies and tools developed in environmental conflicts and their application to empowering local parties for non-violent resolution. The research was intended to yield recommendations for EU civilian crisis management, and the EU's conflict prevention system. The two-year study concluded in September 2013. Work involved designing indicators for analysing conflict escalation and the impact of the EU External Action. The project also compared EU, Latin American and Middle Eastern experiences of environmental activism, plus other international elements. The team prepared a dissemination plan, and policy papers outlining recommendations to the EU. The TRANSCON project yielded principles of how best to support non-violent socio-environmental activism. The guidelines help the European Commission pursue its 'conflict prevention' system, and extend other European conflict-resolution practices, making European work in such areas more effective.

Keywords

Conflict resolution, non-violent resolution, social, environmental problems, conflict management and prevention, social issues, conflict transformation, civilian crisis, civilian crisis management, conflict prevention, environmental activism

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Climate Change and Environment

2 April 2014