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EU and UN planning for crisis management and peace building: Promoting best practice and inter-institutional learning

Final Activity Report Summary - EU-UN CRISIS MANAGEM (EU and UN planning for crisis management and peacebuilding : Promoting best practice and inter-institutional learning)

The aims of the project on EU-UN Cooperation in Crisis Management hosted by Unidir were to 'provide research support to achieving the EU's policy objectives of strengthening its crisis management capacities and improving EU-UN cooperation in this area' and to 'explore how the EU can incorporate best-practice in multinational crisis management and peacebuilding into the development of its new crisis management structures, planning processes and policies'. These objectives were accomplished through original research based on over 130 interviews and a decade of contemporary archives, in addition to a comprehensive review of secondary sources. The resulting analyses and recommendations were disseminated in eight issue-specific research publications and a further 20 presentations in conferences and high-level consultations during the course of the Fellowship. The Fellow has also written a PhD thesis which is due to be examined and published during 2009.

Seven of the publications focus on aspects of the EU's civilian crisis management capability and approach. They address the suitability of the European Community's financial instruments and programming practice for civilian crisis management and security sector reform; the EU's approach to integrated civil-civil planning; cooperation of EU civilian missions with non-state actors; EU options for strengthening African crisis management capacities; and the building of EU civilian crisis management capacities. Two other publications address ways in which the EU and UN might further their cooperation, on recruiting civilian experts for UN missions, and on strengthening the crisis management capacities of African Regional Organisations. The Fellow enjoyed frequent opportunities to debate research in progress with practitioners and academics, including being invited to address the EU's Council Committee on Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM) on three occasions, and to present her study on the deployment of civilian experts in peace operations in an inter-agency workshop hosted by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York.

Evidence of the utility of these reports and recommendations to the EU and the UN is given in the fact that the Fellow has been requested to provide follow-up research for the Finnish, German and Slovenian Presidencies of the EU, the European Commission and the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Research findings have been reflected in policy developments, for instance in EU support for AU peace operations from UN Assessed contributions, and in EU recognition of the structural and procedural shortcomings of current efforts to promote integrated planning in the European Council 2007 Conclusions on Security and Development. There has been tangible policy impact with regard to EU doctrine for cooperation with non-state actors, where report recommendations were included in the European Council 2006 Decision 'Recommendations for Enhancing Cooperation with NGOs and CSOs in the Framework of EU Civilian Crisis Management and Conflict Prevention', and also with regard to the UN approach to deploying civilian experts in peace operations, where the Fellow's report has been used to support the case for increased 'subsidiarity' in UN recruitment policy, in the context of the UN Secretary General's report on early recovery and peacebuilding.

The final book publication, scheduled for 2009 and based on the Fellow's PhD thesis, provides new insights into the nature of the EU-UN relationship in crisis management. The book shows that the European Commission and UN programmes have shared interests in cooperating in conflict contexts, whereas the EU's relationship with the UN in the context of crisis management operations is more competitive. It also concludes that further reforms to EU and UN planning practices are necessary to improve external coherence and ensure that EU mission planning is more closely aligned with a common strategic framework.