Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EUNPACK (Good intentions, mixed results – A conflict sensitive unpacking of the EU comprehensive approach to conflict and crisis mechanisms)
Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2019-03-31
- The edited volume ‘The EU and Crisis Response’ (Mac Ginty, Pogodda & Richmond) is under review at Manchester University Press and Edinburgh University Press.
- A number of academic articles have been submitted to peer-reviewed journals, with two already being published (Mac Ginty, 2018; Rieker & Blockmans 2019).
- Final Conference in Brussels, 18-19/03/2019
- Joint H2020 Policy Roundtable, Brussels, 20/03/19, organized by EUNPACK in collaboration with H2020-funded projects EU-STRAT, FEUTURE and INFORM. Live-streamed at NUPI’s official YouTube channel.
- EUNPACK Policy Roundtable, Brussels, 20/03/19. Live-streamed at NUPI’s official YouTube channel.
- Presence at several high-ranking international academic conferences, such as MERI Forum 2018, GlobSec 2018 (Bratislava), Belgrade Security Forum, and ISA 2019 (Toronto). EUNPACK also visited the EU Training Mission’s (EUTM) headquarters in Bamako on 20/11/18.
- ‘Executive Summary of the Final Report & Selected Policy Recommendations: A conflict-sensitive unpacking of the EU comprehensive approach to conflict and crisis mechanisms’ (Bøås & Rieker 2019)
- The two-page summary ‘EUNPACK: Highlights and Recommendations’ (2019)
- Freie Universität Berlin held a graduate course over four semesters (2017-2018) titled ‘European Union foreign policy in action: crises and conflict management policy’, based on the analytical framework of EUNPACK. More than 90 students participated (EU, US , China, Russia)
- EUNPACK will also be a featured research project in CORDIS (publication date April 2019).
EUNPACK has also been able to prove concrete policy advise on how to improve the Union’s crisis response and make it more efficient and to identify crucial paradoxes of crisis response that constitutes progress beyond the state of the art as they have substantial relevance for the EU, but also for other external stakeholders involved in crisis response. While the EU’s comprehensive approach has potential, what is needed are concrete policy measures to tackle the gap between intentions and mixed results. This will be essential of the Union’s crisis response is to have a larger impact. Paying serious institution-wide attention to the paradoxes of EU crisis response below may contribute to such a process of reform.
1) Local ownership is in practice seeking support of political elites rather than people on the ground
2) EU crisis response is a Brussels-based design with limited sensitivity for local context or root causes of conflict
3) EU interests, not local demands, increasingly drives crisis response
4) Narrow security concerns rather than addressing underlying structural issues
5) Short-term conflict management instead of long-term solutions
EUNPACK research has shown that these paradoxes are key reasons why the EU’s impact is limited and why its crisis response continues to produce mixed results on the ground. Going forward, the EU should make efforts to address these paradoxes. Co-operating more and deeper with constructive local actors and designing operations increasingly based on local needs are important, and all EU engagement in this regard must think long-term. While some actions may be favoured in the short-term, one must more critically engage with potential long-term effects.