Large EU-CIVCAP research project kicks off

Hylke Dijkstra and Petar Petrov (FASoS) participated in the starting conference of the EU-CIVCAP project in Bristol, UK. This EU-funded Horizon 2020 project includes 11 partners. Until the end of 2018, FASoS researchers will analyse the capabilities of the EU for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Maastricht leads a work-package (including IAI, EPLO and CEPS) that compares EU capabilities with those of UN and OSCE.

The European Union (EU) regularly sends military and civilian operations across the globe for the purpose of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. When the EU wants to deploy military troops it is normally clear what sorts of capabilities the EU needs: a command structure, well-trained soldiers, and key enablers such as transport and medical facilities. In recent years, the EU has worked hard on improving those military capabilities.

The EU, however, also often sends civilians abroad. They monitor peace agreements, train local police forces, and provide rule of law functions. It is much less clear what type of capabilities these EU civilians need to do their job. What sorts of training do these monitors, police agents and judges require to operate in difficult environments? How should HR management be structured for these short-term deployments? Do they need armoured vehicles? And what about the use of information technology? Improving these capabilities is of utmost importance in the current context of multiplication of security threats and the need to tackle the root causes of these threats so as to ensure sustainable peace and security around the globe. The EU’s know how and experience in civilian conflict prevention and peacebuilding is unprecedented and it has an unparalleled ability to offer added value in this domain.

The EU-CIVCAP research project seeks answers to these questions. It makes a thorough assessment of past and on-going civilian and military efforts of the EU and other international organisations. It identifies and documents lessons learned. And it seeks to enhance the future policy practice and research on EU conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

Dr Hylke Dijkstra and Dr Petar Petrov participated in the kick-off conference of EU-CIVCAP, which took place in Bristol on 11 December 2015. This event brought all the project partners together for the first time. It also included speeches by senior EU officials, such as Dame Rosalind Marsden, former EU Special Representative for Sudan.

FASoS researchers will lead a work-package, which compares the civilian capabilities of the EU with those of other international organisations (United Nations and OSCE). Maastricht will work closely with the Centre for Policy Research (CEPS, Brussels), European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO, Brussels), Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI, Rome), Roskilde University (RUC, Denmark), The Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) and the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP, Serbia). This work-package will result in key policy papers as well as a dissemination workshop in Brussels in 2017. In addition to Hylke Dijkstra and Petar Petrov, the FASoS research team also includes Prof Sophie Vanhoonacker and PhD candidate Ewa Mahr.

EU-CIVCAP is funded under the Secure Societies research programme of Horizon 2020. It has an overall budget of €1.7 million and runs until the end of 2018. EU-CIVCAP is coordinated by the University of Bristol.

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