Breakfast seminar: The EU in the Sahel – from good intentions to Europe first?
Researchers from some of the world's leading institutes have in a three-year project looked into which local impacts the EU crisis response has had in the areas where they have taken place, and how the EU can improve its response mechanisms.
Breakfast will be served from 08:30!
The European Union has launched more than 35 civilian and military missions abroad since 2003, but the academic literature on the EU’s engagement in external conflicts and crises has until recently been predominantly inward-looking and Brussels-centred, and much less concerned with the EU’s actual impact on the ground. The main objective of the EUNPACK project has been to fill this knowledge gap. In this seminar, co-hosted by NUPI, NCHS, CMI and PRIO, Research Professors Morten Bøås and Pernille Rieker will present key findings and selected policy recommendations from the EUNPACK-project, with an emphasis on the role of the EU in the Sahel.
The concern with fragile states in the Sahel became evident already in the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel from 2011, which pioneered the EU’s so-called comprehensive approach to development and security. The conflict that erupted in Mali in 2012 pushed the issue of the Sahel higher on the EU agenda, and the migration crisis in 2014/15 propelled the Sahel to top prominence in the European Council. Current EU-programming in this area is an illustration of a trend where the EU increasingly tries to tackle immediate security threats instead of focusing on longer-term solutions such as developmental state-building whose key component is administrative capacity-building through extensive local ownership.
Morten Bøås (PhD) is Research Professor at NUPI and works predominantly on issues concerning peace and conflict in Africa, including issues such as land rights and citizenship conflicts, youths, ex-combatants and the new landscape of insurgencies and geopolitics. Bøås was the Chief Scientist and Project Coordinator of EUNPACK.
Pernille Rieker (PhD) is Research Professor at NUPI. Her main research interests are European integration (EU) and European foreign and security policy, including French and the Nordic countries’ foreign and security policies. Rieker has also done research on dialogue and conflict resolution more generally, and she was a part of the EUNPACK project team.