European Parliament workshop report on the Responsibility to Protect, March 2012

Cover website Responsiblity to ProtectBy Marlene Gottwald

Since its endorsement in the UN World Summit Outcome Document in 2005, the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) principle remains rather weakly defined in international law. However it has made some political and institutional progress within the United Nations (UN) system. Most recently, it has been applied in practice with regards to the military operation in Libya.


TEPSA Brief: Options for EU engagement in post-conflict Libya, March 2012

By Marlene Gottwald

The EU’s response to the Libyan crisis has been weak and divided. The EU failed to speak with one voice and to get its act together in the field of military crisis management. While the UN and NATO have been the main players in the first months of the Libyan civil war, the EU is expected to step up to the plate for civilian support to a post-conflict reconstruction. This policy brief analyses the most serious medium- and long-term challenges for the (re-)building of a functioning Libyan state. On this basis it examines options for EU engagement in the area of security sector reform taking into account lessons learned from previous CSDP missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The policy brief concludes that the establishment of a civilian CSDP mission providing training mainly outside Libya will be the most feasible option.

Please feel free to contact Marlene Gottwald  (Marlene•Gottwald©tepsa•be)   to discuss and to learn more on the future developments about this issue.

TEPSA Brief: Libya: A wakeup call for CSDP?, March 2012

By Nicole Koenig

In the past couple of years, there has been recurrent talk of ‘CSDP fatigue’. In the wake of the Libyan crisis, some even declared the death of the CSDP. Current developments indicate that the CSDP is not dead, although the Libyan crisis highlighted some of its existing flaws. These flaws include the lengthy and cumbersome planning process, the continued reticence of the Member States to use the EU’s rapid reaction instruments, internal coordination problems and military capability gaps. The on-going lessons learnt processes should be seen as an opportunity to tackle some of these weaknesses and to circumvent existing obstacles. This brief proposes measures to:

(1) increase the EU’s capacity for comprehensive, timely, and rapid planning;
(2) encourage a more proactive use of the EU’s rapid reaction instruments;
(3) learn the lessons for internal coordination; and
(4) ‘get real’ about pooling and sharing military capabilities.

If the EU misses this opportunity, there is a real risk that the CSDP will go back to sleep.

Please feel free to contact Nicole Koenig  (nicole•koenig©coleurope•eu)   to discuss and to learn more on the future developments about this issue.

Round table Conference’s Report: Democracy promotion East and South after the Arab Spring on 1- 2 December 2011

Re-evaluating the EU’s Engagement with Authoritarian Regimes

The Conference took place on 1-2 December 2011 at the Maastricht University, Brussels Campus, Avenue de L’Armée / Legerlaan 10, 1040 Brussels and was organised by Maastricht University, the Trans-European Policy Studies Association and the Institut für Europäische Politik.

The popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Syria in 2011 not only presented new challenges for EU policy towards the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but also underlined the need to re-evaluate the EU’s engagement with authoritarian regimes more generally. The conference aimed to analyse what paradigms and strategies have guided EU policies towards authoritarian regimes over the past decades, and the factors which explained the strengths and limitations of EU democracy promotion in authoritarian countries, in addition to presenting concrete policy recommendations for future EU policy towards authoritarian regimes.

Workshop contributions offered historical and theoretical reflections, alongside empirical case studies analysing EU policy towards authoritarian rule in (i) the MENA region: Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Jordan; (ii) Eastern Europe: Belarus, Ukraine, South Caucasus and (iiI) Central Asia: Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan.

The conference intended to bring together senior members of the Brussels diplomatic community, European institutional decision makers, academic scholars and relevant stakeholders, to provide a comparative perspective on EU relations with authoritarian regimes on its Eastern and Southern rim in an objective minded, academic setting.

Conference Report is available here.