Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EU and SSR (LOCAL OWNERSHIP IN SECURITY SECTOR REFORM ACTIVITIES WITHIN CSDP OPERATIONS OF THE EU)
Reporting period: 2015-10-07 to 2017-10-06
The main conclusion of the project is that the local ownership principle, echoing the colonial principle of indirect rule, is driven by the rationality of advanced democracies on how best to govern global insecurities at a distance. Consequently, ownership is operationalized as responsibilization for externally designed objectives. This often gives rise to local resistance which undermines international efforts to achieve ownership. Consequently, majority of CSDP interventions have been externally designed and supply-driven with little local traction. CSDP interventions are conceived, planned and launched by the EU while the role of the local authorities has been reduced to issuing a formal invitation and gradually taking over responsibilities, so that the EU can eventually plan its withdrawal from the theatre of operation. Fact-finding missions are often rushed and cursory exercises that result in mission mandates that are divorced from realities on the ground. There is a strong tendency of member states to micromanage CSDP interventions both during the planning process and once they are launched. This hampers local ownership, by undermining the operational autonomy of CSDP staff and rendering them less able to adjust to quickly changing conditions on the ground. CSDP interventions are supply-driven: the EU and its member states have been more eager to offer the technical assistance they want to provide rather than the capacities needed by host countries to enable their long-term and bottom-up peaceful transformation. Time constraints and high turnover rates push CSDP interventions to focus on readymade tools and quick impact projects. Ownership efforts in CSDP have focused on ensuring a buy-in of powerful gatekeepers within host governments, while sidelining wider governance structures and local communities. Contacts with civil society have been ad hoc and haphazard. As a result, local populations are often either unaware of CSDP interventions or distrustful of them.