CANCELLED: How can the EU improve its crisis response?

Mon 6 May 2019
Time: 14:00 Location: NUPI Language: English Available seats: 58

One month ago, the NUPI-led and Horizon 2020-funded research project EUNPACK was finalised. This seminar will provide an opportunity to look back at three years of research and fieldwork to consider the policy implications of its findings.

Since adopting a ‘comprehensive approach’ to external crisis management in 2013, the EU has spent considerable time and energy on streamlining its approach and improving internal coordination. New and protracted crises, from the conflict in Ukraine to the rise of Daesh in Syria and Iraq, and the refugee situation in North Africa and the Sahel, have made the improvement of external crisis-response capacities a top priority.

The academic literature on the European Union’s engagement in external conflicts and crises has until recently been predominantly inward-looking, Brussels-centered and concerned with the EU’s actorness and institutional capacity-building. The main objective of the EUNPACK project has been to fill this gap. By unpacking EU crisis response mechanisms, it has provided new insights into how EU crisis response functions and how it is being received and perceived on the ground by both local beneficiaries and other external stakeholders in target countries.

By introducing a bottom-up perspective combined with an institutional approach, the project has tried to break with the dominant line of scholarship on EU crisis response that has tended to view only one side of the equation, namely the integrity and coherence of the EU itself. Thus, in addition to interviews in Brussels, the EUNPACK project team conducted fieldwork in countries of EU crisis response, interviewing key personnel from local and international organisations, including representatives of EU delegations and programmes, and conducted surveys on people’s perceptions about the EU’s crisis response on the ground. This resulted in the development of five selected policy recommendations that can be applied across the universe of EU crisis response.

This seminar will provide an opportunity to look back at three years of research and fieldwork and to discuss its research findings and policy recommendations. How has EU crisis response been shaped by the two gaps the projects analysed – between intentions and implementation and between implementation and local reception/perceptions? How did these gaps determine the EU’s ability to contribute more effectively to problem-solving on the ground? And what implications does this have for the EU’s crisis response?

Morten Bøås and Pernille Rieker, both Research Professors at NUPI, will present key findings and selected policy recommendations. The presentations will then be discussed by Wolfgang Behrendt (First Counsellor and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Norway) and a representative from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The seminar will be live streamed on NUPI’s YouTube channel: