The EU as a security actor in Africa

Dick Zandee (editing)
Hans Hoebeke
Hans Merket
Minke Meijnders

1. Introduction

The Clingendael Monitor 2015 points to continuing destabilisation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). However the specific geographical reference to North Africa is no longer applicable. The zone of instability has spread to the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa. Tensions also remain elsewhere on the African continent (in the Great Lakes states, for example), often related to past conflicts.

Instability and conflict in Africa create a range of security problems for Europe. Rapidly increasing migration via the Mediterranean Sea, extremism and terrorism, as well as cross-border crime, all have implications for security in Europe, but are spill-over effects of instability outside Europe. Europe’s external and internal security are thus interrelated. European economic interests are also affected by disruption to the availability of natural resources and raw materials, and trading relations are threatened. Demographic trends – Africa has the world’s fastest-growing population – and the lack of any prospect of economic progress in some African countries, suggest that the pressure of migration towards Europe will persist. The European Union (EU) has a considerable interest in a stable Africa, and also seems willing to assume a special responsibility for the continent.

In her ‘state of the world’ assessment in June 2015, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini discusses challenges and opportunities for Europe. About North Africa she notes: “We need to respond to old and new conflicts, and help address the root causes of resentment through tailor-made responses.” The EU can help in unlocking Africa’s potential “by developing the right mix of migration and mobility policies; by bolstering security cooperation with the United Nations, the African Union and other African partners; and by bridging fair trade and economic integration objectives.”[1] Following this assessment report, the European Council mandated the High Representative to develop a broad common foreign and security strategy. This must be presented to the European Council by June 2016. Naturally the new strategy is driven by changing security conditions, and in particular by the increasing instability in the vicinity of the European Union. At the same time, the foreign and security strategy is consistent with the fifth priority of the EU’s strategic agenda: the EU as a strong global player. Reinforcing the EU’s role on the world stage flows from this priority, which will be an important theme during the Dutch EU Presidency (in the first half of 2016).

Given Africa’s particular significance for Europe, it is expected to receive close attention in the new strategy. At the same time, the EU continues to deploy its range of different policy instruments on a daily basis. The strategy’s primary aim is to bring these together in an integrated or ‘joined-up’ approach, according to Mogherini.

This Clingendael report focuses on trend analysis of the European Union’s role as a security actor in Africa. It considers the use of all the policy instruments at the EU’s disposal, from development cooperation to crisis management and countering extremism. In principle the EU has an integrated approach, although this often seems difficult to achieve in practice. This study concentrates mainly on how the integrated approach is evolving, and what consequences this has for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The geographic emphasis will be on North Africa, the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa.

The report is structured as follows. Chapter 2 outlines the trends in instability and conflict in Africa. What are the determining factors? What characteristics can be distinguished? What challenges do the conflicts in Africa present for Europe? This chapter ties in closely with the Strategic Monitor 2015, but offers a more in-depth analysis for Africa. Chapter 3 addresses the EU’s broad approach as a security actor in Africa. What policy instruments does the Union use, and what developments can be identified in this respect? What is the status of the coordination between the various actors and instruments? What priority trends are discernible, both geographically and in the choice of instruments? How well is supporting and strengthening African regional organisations progressing? Chapter 4 then analyses trends involving the EU’s specific crisis management instrument, the CSDP. What developments have characterised recent CSDP operations and missions in Africa? What consequences do trends in African conflicts have for crisis management and the capacities to be deployed? What consequences does the integrated approach entail for the CSDP, including coordination with internal security actors? What does all this mean for the member states’ military and civilian capabilities? Chapter 5 sets out the conclusions from the previous three chapters. The report makes no recommendations. As an in-depth study in connection with the Clingendael Report 2016, it focuses on exploring and analysing trends.

2. Africa as a continent of conflict

Africa continues to be the most unstable continent, although this fact is overshadowed by the burgeoning crisis in the Middle East. The struggle for political legitimacy, control of the state and access to economic power are the main causes of armed conflict. Despite an increase in the number of ‘democratic’ elections, power structures remain largely centralised and patrimonial. Elections are a zero-sum game. In addition, the fault lines in many states are based predominantly on identity: regional, ethnic or religious. The recent example of Burkina Faso also showed that coups (or attempted coups) are still part of the political toolkit.[2] Political instability can quickly arise in countries previously defined as democratic, as Mali’s example showed.[3] After a coup against an extremely corrupt and inefficient regime, the country faced regional/ethnic conflicts, followed by an organised attempt to take power by a terrorist network operating at the regional level. The NATO intervention in Libya (2011) led to chaos in that country, with a knock-on effect on the Sahel countries, partly as a result of the spread of weapons. The general picture on the continent is troubling. The most recent edition of the Mo Ibrahim Index indicates that even the performance of many of the brighter students in the class is highly questionable; at best, stagnation appears to be occurring.[4]

A large group of states in the Horn of Africa, Central Africa and West Africa seems unable to make the transition from violent conflict to the construction of minimal stability. This group includes Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea-Bissau and Mali. In all these countries, the population regards the state primarily as a problem or even as the enemy. Underdevelopment, patrimonial state structures, highly fragmented societies, regional factors and demographics are among the potent mix of root causes of conflict. International actors seek the fastest possible exit, and focus their attention mainly on their own security interests, such as counter-terrorism, migration control and, since the Ebola epidemic, the containment of international health crises. After a brief transitional period, elections are quickly resorted to as a way out of protracted and complex crises. The government then simply gets down to everyday business, without any broader effort to tackle the root causes. The World Development Report of 2011 indicated that the required transformation takes many decades.[5]

International involvement is also characterised by increasing complexity. This applies both to non-African actions (by the UN, the EU and individual states) and to African involvement. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) has become the more interventionist African Union (AU). In addition, the importance of the regional (economic) communities such as SADC, CEEAC, ECOWAS, IGAD and others has increased.[6] Together with the AU, they form a complex, overlapping and competing constellation of international African organisations. Both international and African parties turn to this market of potential actors for assistance and support. As already indicated, external interventions are focusing increasingly on tackling religious radicalisation and terrorism, phenomena to which sub-Saharan Africa (apart from Somalia) was previously considered largely immune. In recent years, they have become increasingly common in East and West Africa in particular, including the use of suicide bombers.[7] However, this is primarily a phenomenon developing on the back of existing conflicts and in states with weak political legitimacy.

Religious radicalisation and terrorism

An increase in religious radicalisation has been clearly apparent in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade. North Africa has long contended with this problem. During the nineties, Algeria experienced a bloody civil war between the secular state and religious groups. The need to keep radical tendencies under control was a crucial argument used by the authoritarian regimes that were forced out during the ‘Arab Spring’, and is once again of central importance now that the entire region is affected by political violence. This radicalisation dynamic has become firmly established in the Sahel region with its extremely weak states, using former trade routes. Radicalisation in sub-Saharan Africa is a complex problem, with a mix of political, social and economic causes forming a rich potential breeding-ground, with distinctive national and regional features in the various places.[8]

Because of their direct association with political violence and terrorism, and the link with transnational networks such as Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda, movements such as AQIM[9], Boko Haram[10] and al-Shabaab attract a great deal of (international) attention. A comparable phenomenon, currently less violent but equally relevant politically, is the spectacular rise of a range of new Christian churches.[11] In both cases, the breeding-ground lies to a large degree in the opposition to the established order by mainly young people, often fairly well educated. The evangelical churches and radical Islamic (often Wahhabist) groups offer a new social structure and purpose for a very young population with little or no opportunity for social and economic development.[12] Increasing urbanisation is also associated with radicalisation.

The influence of the evangelical churches and movements has been expressed powerfully in social and ethical debates – recently for example with regard to homosexuality in Uganda. Often, these churches and movements have no access to existing platforms for dialogue between government and religious groups, or can only gain such access with difficulty. This even applies to the Pentecostal churches that do have access to political power in Kenya and Uganda.[13] The established religious elites are reluctant to allow competition, but in large cities such as Kinshasa in the DRC, support for, and the importance of, the new Christian movements are increasingly overshadowing the established Catholic Church. These churches, with pastors seeking affiliation with political groups as a form of patronage, offer more scope for autocratic regimes to manipulate public debate. Another characteristic shared by the Christian and Islamic movements is their close financial and other ties with foreign actors. In the case of the Wahhabist movements, the main foreign backer is Saudi Arabia, but Qatar is also an important source of financial support. For the Christian movements, support and inspiration often come from the United States and, increasingly, Nigeria.

Map Africa
Kaart van Afrika

Source: AON, 2015 Terrorism and Political Violence Map

The use of violence in Africa

Futures analyses point to continued instability in many parts of Africa. The area of the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa in particular has become a breeding-ground for extremism, violence and terrorism.[14] Libya is a clearing house, not just for human trafficking and other criminal activities, but also for the spread of weapons destined for extremist groups in countries such as Mali, Niger and Nigeria. According to a UN report, Libya is the epicentre of the illegal trade in arms – both small arms and shoulder-fired air defence missiles – with sales in at least 14 African countries.[15]

The use of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) has been responsible for no fewer than 90% of the victims among the personnel of the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA), according to UN sources.[16] African contingents, usually equipped with vehicles offering little protection, are especially vulnerable to these.[17] The Netherlands has deployed an anti-IED team in Mali.[18] The threat is also present for the AU mission in Somalia. Boko Haram also makes frequent use of IEDs in Cameroon and Nigeria. Suicide attacks attributed to Boko Haram are committed frequently by women or children.[19] The group of UN experts on the DRC also reported in January 2015 on the making of IEDs by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) operating in the eastern DRC (North Kivu).[20] Landmines have also been used there recently. African armed forces in countries such as Cameroon and Nigeria are making increasing use of drones.

Figures show that 2014 was the year with the highest number of conflict-related casualties since 1999.[21] The most-affected countries were Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Libya. Other (post-)conflict areas show a more diffuse picture. For example, there have been mounting tensions and the threat of a new war in Burundi over the past few months; in the DRC, violence seems to have abated in recent years, but the country is on the brink of a highly unstable political situation.

Peacekeeping and intervention

As of late 2015, the United Nations is conducting 16 peacekeeping operations, including nine in Africa accounting for almost 85% (or about 90,000) of all peacekeepers deployed worldwide. Some 50% of the Blue Helmets in Africa are African troops.[22] Nine African states are now among the 15 largest contributors of troops. In addition to the UN missions there are also a number of missions under the mandate of the AU, namely the extensive AMISOM mission in Somalia[23] and a smaller mission against Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).[24] At the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, many member states pledged more support for strengthening African peacekeeping capacities. Along with France, the EU and the US, China is also becoming involved increasingly in this field. The joint efforts should lead to the operationalisation of the African Standby Force in early 2016, which should have a Rapid Deployment Capability.

However, there are a number of problems inherent to the contribution of African troops to peacekeeping.[25] A first fact is political: troops are usually deployed in neighbouring countries; this is the case in Somalia, the DRC, Mali and the CAR. This may have advantages, but such a deployment often has additional political and/or economic dimensions in support of national interests.[26] These factors increase a mission’s complexity and undermine its neutrality.[27] One example is the innovative special intervention brigade consisting of troops from three African countries in the Eastern DRC, which was deployed in 2013. Two of the countries contributing troops, South Africa and Tanzania, had a strained relationship with Rwanda at the time. In addition to their official role (intervention), both contingents therefore also served as a regional deterrent.

A second problem stems from the fact that several states on the continent contribute troops to risky missions.[28] The political credit that such troop deployments generate is good for authoritarian states. Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda, Chad and Uganda are all major contributors. Participation in peacekeeping missions is also financially lucrative and offers a way of maintaining excessive military capabilities; in the short term at least, this helps ensure internal stability.[29] Demobilisation in Africa often causes problems due to the limited absorption capacity of other parts of society.

A third problem concerns the composition and equipment of the contingents. This arises particularly when the UN takes over operations, as it has done recently in the CAR and Mali. With a few exceptions, African missions are largely dependent on external funding and equipment.[30]

Over the past decade, it has also become increasingly obvious that the existing intervention model has reached its limits. In the DRC, South Sudan, the CAR and Mali, UN missions are under permanent pressure due to their lack of capacity to offer the civilian population effective protection. These tensions are exacerbated by regular allegations of misconduct among peacekeepers,[31] and are exploited eagerly by political actors – from armed groups to governments – that are able to limit the missions’ political role in this way. This last point is true of the UN mission in the DRC, for example.[32] Long-term peace missions appear to have a tendency to perpetuate situations in which nobody ultimately dares assume any responsibility, and a status quo that suits the parties to the conflict can be maintained.

In addition to this participation in international or regional missions, there is a growing twilight zone in which a number of African states deploy troops. Such deployment is also characterised by increasing complexity, including the use of air power.[33] The use of African troops on both sides during the Second Congo War of 1998 to 2003 remains the largest of its kind to date, and interference by neighbouring countries in the DRC continues. More recently, the involvement of Ugandan troops on the side of the government forces in the South Sudanese civil war can be cited. Another example is the deployment of the regional Multi-National Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad basin (Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger), in which troops mostly from Chad are being deployed actively in the countries concerned.[34]

Politieagenten van de Afrikaanse Unie-missie AMISOM

Policeagents from the African Union mission AMISOM. Photo: AMISOM Public Information.

End of a decade of growth?

The stagnation of the global economy and particularly the slowdown in China, have led to the revision of economic growth figures in Africa.[35] Apart from a few exceptions such as Ethiopia, the continent remains primarily an exporter of raw materials with limited processing. Falling prices and output are leading to increasing social tensions. Thousands of job losses, shrinking government budgets (in the DRC by more than 10%), continued population growth, inefficient agriculture, an increased debt burden and a lack of economic diversification are a potentially dangerous mix. States such as Nigeria, Algeria and Angola – all of which have an important regional role but are also suffering from considerable internal instability – are almost entirely dependent on the export of crude oil. South Africa, the driving force in Southern Africa, has already contended for years with stagnating growth and a profound social crisis. This social crisis has helped generate the recent wave of xenophobic violence, which has also put the country’s wider political role under pressure.[36] The influx of migrants to South Africa, like that to Europe, is itself partly attributable to the continuing lack of economic prospects for entire generations. The deteriorating economic situation in South Africa has obviously not changed this.

The rhetoric of growth has also exacerbated a situation where little attention has been paid to the continent’s structural economic problems. Opportunities to attend school are generally still extremely limited (even in countries such as Kenya), energy production and infrastructure remain inadequate and the transport sector is lagging behind, while industrial and agricultural production are characterised by inefficiency and insufficient output. The investment climate and fiscal and other legislation are in need of a thorough overhaul. Part of the solution to these problems could lie in growing regional integration, but this generally remains a highly theoretical process, and although there is the intention to address these issues within the African Union, the organisation lacks legitimacy, drive and resources.

Demography, development and conflict

The African continent has the world’s fastest demographic growth. More than half of the increase in the world’s population to 2050 will occur on this continent. The total African population will grow from 1.2 billion in 2015 to 1.7 billion in 2030 and 2.5 billion in 2050.[37] Some 42% of the population is under the age of 15.[38] The average birth rate per woman in sub-Saharan Africa is 5.5.[39] The countries in the Sahel region are outliers, with, for example, seven births per woman in Niger. Southern Africa and North Africa have a lower rate of population growth.[40]

High birth rates and young populations are putting enormous pressure on the social infrastructure (education and healthcare), and are offsetting the often-high economic growth rates. Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) represents 80% of Africa’s population and 45% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).[41] One consequence of the high population growth is high levels of unemployment and a lack of prospects for many young Africans, regardless of their educational background.[42] The experience of the Arab Spring in North Africa points to the rapid political mobilisation of a young, highly educated population.

Electoral and political tensions

Electoral processes continue to be a conspicuous source of instability and political violence on the African continent. The stakes are high: the winning camp gains control of the state and the economy, while the loser is left empty-handed. This ‘winner takes all’ model also points to the limitations of the institutional reforms of recent years, mostly in so-called ‘post-conflict’ countries. Although constitutional constraints (in terms of the duration and number of terms of office) have been introduced, political power has been decentralised and directly-elected parliaments have been set up, often with extensive powers, in most cases the executive remains clearly in control.[43] The presidential model, with a high degree of concentration of political power, is still dominant. In addition, research has shown that in those cases where there has been a genuine transfer of political power – such as in Ghana, Zambia and recently Nigeria – effective service delivery remains poor. Support programmes and years of investment in governance reform, such as security sector reform (SSR), have only had a limited impact.[44] Corruption is an important factor, because it undermines the effectiveness of national institutions and social norms, and entrenches political grievances. [45]

The electoral problem is a particularly current issue in Central Africa.[46] A decade ago, tortuous peace processes in the DRC and Burundi were rounded-off with elections. However, reforms were only implemented to a limited degree, and in both countries the ruling powers and their associates were not prepared to accept any alternative to political power. The same applies to neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, Angola, Uganda and the Republic of Congo, and leads to all manner of attempts to eliminate existing constitutional constraints. In Burundi, the entire acquis of the Arusha process is in danger of being lost. The country has been on the brink of the abyss again for the past few several months, and ethnically-motivated violence is on the rise; the latter is particularly alarming. The DRC has also been in a phase of growing political tension for more than a year now, and the government’s relations with the international community are fraught with tension.

A number of states, including Chad, Cameroon, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Algeria, face similar structural problems hindering effective political transition. The example of Burkina Faso shows that even where attempts to hold onto power fail due to a strong mobilisation of opposition and civil society, transitions are still extremely fragile. The political situation in the countries concerned is and remains highly vulnerable. The interests of the various parties are so fundamental that the search for a new stability will be a long one. The resilience of political systems built on nepotism and patrimonial networks is hard to estimate. In those cases where an eventual confrontation is avoided – such as in Senegal with the departure of President Wade, and perhaps also in Benin in the near future – power can change hands effectively. Adapting governance and carrying out effective reforms proves far harder, however.

For external actors such as the US and the EU, it is increasingly difficult to take action in these complex political situations. Regional organisations are often turned to for assistance – with varying success. The organisations and the African countries involved in their activities are often divided or have differing plans. Sovereignty and non-interference remain guiding principles. One important exception is the fairly straightforward approach to coups taken by the AU.

Regional analysis

North Africa still contends with a high level of political and social instability.[47] Egypt and Tunisia face organised centres of armed resistance, which have a major impact on a key economic driver, tourism. Since the ousting of Gaddafi, Libya remains a completely imploded state posing an ongoing threat to regional security. Morocco is still relatively stable, as for the time being is its great rival Algeria, where there is growing uncertainty about the necessary political transition and generational change. The continuing tensions between Morocco and Algeria have been felt far into the south, and have a negative impact on political processes in the Sahel region.

In West Africa, the elections in Nigeria have not led to the feared implosion of the country, which is afflicted by Boko Haram and persistent problems in the Niger Delta. The new government must tackle both crises urgently, and this is also necessary for Nigeria to assume a regional leadership role. The Sahel can be characterised as an extremely unstable zone which, due in part to the Sahel states’ lack of capacity and political legitimacy, remains a haven for a wide range of criminal and terrorist organisations – including from Libya. Outside the Sahel too, there is a group of mostly weak states. Countries such as Guinea-Bissau are very attractive to international criminal networks.[48] In the Lake Chad basin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger are plagued by the presence of Boko Haram. The radical movement has ensured that the conflict has developed into a profound regional crisis over the past year.

Both the powerhouses of Southern Africa (South Africa and Angola) are struggling with a severe socio-economic crisis, and with increasing political tensions as well, although in fundamentally different ways. In addition, there are ongoing political crises in Lesotho, Madagascar and Zimbabwe, and rising tensions in Mozambique. Zambia too faces a serious economic crisis. South Africa has also been harmed by the xenophobic violence that finds its breeding-ground in the social crisis and the attraction that the country nevertheless continues to exert on people from neighbouring countries. The region is far from immune to severe tensions, and regional organisations, in particular the SADC, have been weakened by member states’ internal problems. This will also have an impact on neighbouring regions; the DRC is a member of SADC, and it remains to be seen whether the organisation will continue to exercise the leadership role it previously held.

In East Africa and the Horn, instability is still centred primarily around Somalia and the intertwined conflicts in the two Sudans. Regional leadership is shared by an increasingly active Ethiopia and Kenya. Ethiopia is undergoing a major economic transformation and is emerging as the region’s key player. In economic terms, Kenya is still the gateway to East and part of Central Africa, but internally it is weighed down by powerful tensions, both politically and socially. The country also lives with a permanent terrorist threat. Uganda plays an important role in South Sudan and as a troop contributor, but is also gearing up for elections again, in which President Museveni – in power since 1996 – will succeed himself once more. A development that could have important implications for the conflicts in the Sudans is the recent rapprochement between Sudan and Uganda.[49] At sub-regional level, the region has proved unable to come up with an adequate response to the electoral crisis in Burundi, a member of the East Africa Community (EAC). Further regional integration has also been thwarted by serious internal divisions. East African states are becoming more frequently involved in partnerships with the Gulf States. Troops from Sudan and probably also Eritrea are taking part in the conflict in Yemen.[50]

The political and security situation in Central Africa is dominated by the efforts of incumbent regimes to stay in power. In part, this is an indication of the lack of consolidation of the state, and the only partial consolidation of the peace processes forming the basis of the present political constellation. In Burundi, a return to ethnically-motivated violence seems imminent, possibly resulting in a new civil war, and in the DRC too, tensions are running high and there is the potential for wider conflict that threatens to destroy the achievements of the past decade. In the CAR, the international community, in pushing for elections, seems to be ignoring the need to address the underlying causes of conflict; the country therefore remains on the brink of a further implosion. Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville are run by geriatric regimes which stay in the saddle through a combination of repression and buying out an opportunistic opposition. A difficult transition can be expected there when these regimes eventually disappear.

The consequences for the EU

Relations between the EU and Africa have always been complex, and given the developments on the continent and worldwide, this complexity will only increase. This requires an approach from the EU and its member states – a number of which maintain an extensive and complex relationship with the continent – going beyond simple rhetoric. At the strategic level, Europe’s influence in Africa will tend to decrease due to the growing role of other international actors, especially China, but also India, Brazil and the US. For Europe, this implies a process of adaptation that will not run equally smoothly everywhere – in France, for example. External actors’ interests coincide in part, but in economic terms they are often competitors. Even more than is the case today, African states and regimes will start to position themselves actively in this field. An additional factor is that political and economic developments on the continent are growing more complex. Again, this requires a reinforcement of Europe’s capacity to appraise these tendencies accurately. There is a need for more dialogue, and above all more profound dialogue, with the various powers across the continent.

In addition to this gradually waning influence in Africa, exacerbated partly by the internal weakness of the EU, the impact on Europe of developments in Africa will continue to increase. Together with African actors, there is a need to work on controlling demographic growth – which is exceeding the capacity of entire regions. Investment must also be made in economic growth centres. Migration can benefit Africa and Europe, but there is currently very limited support for it. Moreover, it has security consequences when it leads to a lack of integration and entire groups are marginalised. However, managing migration and terrorism will not lead to a lasting relationship if the main focus is on a policing and military approach – as is also evident in other regions. The approach will need to be broader, but should be based at all levels on a thorough understanding of political and social developments, and on dialogue.

3. The EU’s comprehensive approach

The great range of instruments and areas of action covered by the European Union’s foreign policy is both its source of power and its Achilles’ heel. In security policy terms, the EU plays a role throughout the conflict cycle, from conflict prevention, peace-making and peacekeeping through to reconstruction. This important comparative advantage enables it to deal with complex problems, but it also makes policy coherence hard to achieve. Ensuring consistency between powers, EU institutions and member states is an old problem, not least with regard to the often compartmentalised and extremely sovereignty-sensitive Common Security and Defence Policy.

The comprehensive approach: about words…

The ‘broad’, ‘integrated’ or ‘comprehensive’ approach has therefore loomed for a long time over the EU policy debate as an ideal image of the harmonisation of all external actions. This desire for greater cohesion was made central to the constitutional reforms of the Lisbon Treaty, which also gave it a better institutional underpinning. This is reflected in the ‘two hats’ of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who is also Vice-President of the European Commission (a role currently fulfilled by the Italian Federica Mogherini), and the European External Action Service (EEAS) which also includes the EU Delegations.

In the course of 2012, when the dust from these often hard-fought changes was beginning to settle, an inter-institutional working group was set up to make the EU’s comprehensive approach a reality. The then High Representative, Catherine Ashton, raised the bar and stated resolutely that “[W]e cannot succeed without this comprehensive approach – it is simply not enough to chase and deter pirates, not enough to try and do development when there is no security, not enough to try and provide economic support without a stable government”.[51] Although the abstract terminology of the comprehensive approach in European policy rhetoric already represented a response to the most complex challenges, it was not until December 2013 that a first attempt was made to put this into practice, with the joint Communication of the High Representative and the Commission on ‘The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises’.[52] This was then ‘welcomed’ in May 2014 – not confirmed – in the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council on ‘The EU’s comprehensive approach’.[53] The ideas set out here are not in themselves new. According to the High Representative and the Commission, they have been “applied successfully as the organising principle for EU action in many cases in recent years, for example, in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and the Great Lakes”.[54] With the comprehensive approach, however, the EU wishes to apply the concept more systematically in its external action. To this end, a methodology is being defined that attempts to combine the wide array of both external instruments (diplomacy, trade, development cooperation, humanitarian aid) and internal instruments (fisheries policy, energy, justice) in a more coherent and efficient approach that maximises synergies and avoids obstruction.

This methodology starts with an inter-institutional and inter-departmental analysis of the root causes of potential conflict, the main actors, the trends, and the risks of action or inaction on the part of the EU. On this basis, a common strategic vision is being developed as the foundation for comprehensive EU action. Two points are central here. Firstly, the comprehensive approach systematises processes and mechanisms promoting continuous interaction and exchange between often segregated policy communities. This is essential, because it is often hard for the relevant expertise and intelligence to surmount the departmental walls within and between EU institutions. The model example of this is the Crisis Platform, which has been set up within the EEAS. In response to specific needs and crises, all relevant EU actors come together on this platform, i.e. crisis management institutions such as the EU Military Staff (EUMS), the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) and the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC), as well as representatives of Commission departments such as ECHO, DG DEVCO[55] and the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI). Together, they then reach a common understanding of the problem and a definition of a collective approach. Secondly, the comprehensive approach emphasises that no blueprints or standard solutions exist. It therefore takes concrete situations as its starting point, meaning that better use also needs to be made of the EU Delegations.

Instead of a visionary strategy that imposes a predefined plan rigidly, this focus on policy processes and contextual factors proposes a systematic approach that assesses results and impacts continuously and Reports progress. Such an approach is important because, in the words of the Commission, “[T]here is rarely enough information to make decisions and choices with full confidence. It is often necessary to engage in a more complex process whereby analysis and assessment is continuous to allow adjustment when circumstances change and/or new information and insight comes to light.”[56] The comprehensive approach is designed to combine the strengths and capabilities of the EU optimally, adapted to the specific needs of the given situation. Moreover, through a long-term commitment, the EU wants to shift the focus to the prevention of conflict.

After many frantic efforts to grasp the complex connections between challenges and areas of action in a wide range of concepts such as ‘fragility’, the ‘security-development nexus’, ‘policy coherence for development’ and so on, this more pragmatic approach is promising.[57] The influence of foreign policy is indirect, multidimensional and contextual. It follows that consistency cannot be enforced from above by politically-correct – but often meaningless – calls for improved cooperation. Coherence must be achieved in practice by bringing policymakers in contact with each other, generating mutual understanding and ensuring continuous feedback between policy formulation and implementation. This in essence is what the EU’s comprehensive approach will do. In their brevity, however, both the joint Communication and the Council Conclusions remain somewhat non-committal.

Humanitaire hulp

Humanitarian aid from ECHO. Photo: European Commission DG ECHO.

… and deeds

The foundations of an innovative approach have been laid, but thorough efforts will be needed to translate this into operational and procedural terms at all levels of intra- and inter-institutional cooperation. Three difficulties illustrate this in concrete terms.

In the first place, it is not entirely clear what purpose the comprehensive approach ultimately serves. The title of the Communication suggests that the emphasis is on external conflicts and crises, whereas the Council Conclusions state that the principles apply to “the broad spectrum of EU external action”.[58] This lack of clarity raises questions, in particular about the objective of improved conflict prevention. The EU has established an extensive system of conflict analysis (with a conflict-sensitive ‘political economy analysis’ developed by DG DEVCO and a light-touch ‘conflict analysis tool’ launched by the EEAS)[59]; moreover, the EU has activated a six-monthly ‘early warning system’. It is not clear how these systems affect policymaking in the relevant departments, workgroups and decision-making centres of the Commission, the Council and the EEAS; yet clear reporting lines and communication channels are essential if the intended focus on prevention is to be achieved.

This problem is expressed clearly in the implementation of the regional integrated strategies adopted mainly at the instigation of the EEAS, such as the Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, the Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa, the Strategic Framework for the Great Lakes Region, and the Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea.[60] Rather than being far-sighted policy frameworks designed to prevent conflict, these documents attempt to create ex post consistency between existing, often isolated initiatives. Thus, despite the adoption of a Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa, the EU proved to be unprepared for the independence of South Sudan and its subsequent government collapse. Again, the Sahel Strategy was no guarantee of a common approach to the crisis in Libya, with the failure of the EUFOR Libya military-humanitarian operation in 2011 as a notorious low point.[61]

Secondly, the contextual approach relies to a large extent on the ability of both EU Delegations and the Special Representatives (EUSRs) (who are barely mentioned in the Communication and not at all in the Council Conclusions) to provide input for policy development and steer its implementation. Both suffer from shortcomings that seriously restrict their reach within the spectrum of EU foreign policy. The former Commission Delegations were transformed into fully-fledged EU Delegations by the Lisbon Treaty. For the first time in the history of European integration, the EU thus has a single point of contact in non-EU countries and for relations with international organisations, for the EU’s full range of powers. As what might be thought of as EU ‘antennae’ and ‘feelers’, these Delegations are ideally positioned to translate the comprehensive approach into practice. This potential is only exploited to a limited extent however. The significant expansion of their powers took place without any significant contribution of additional resources, resulting in a significant lack of capacity, and understaffing. This is especially problematic in the areas of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the CSDP which are relatively new for these Delegations. In Africa, they have a long history of implementing large-scale development programmes. Although today they essentially play a political role and are increasingly seen as EU embassies, their organisational style therefore continues to be characterised more by project management than by diplomacy. Moreover, these Delegations have very little opportunity to define their own emphases, and complain that their input and advice is not taken into proper consideration by the institutions in Brussels.[62]

In addition, the European Union can appoint Special Representatives who hold a geographical or thematic mandate under the authority of the High Representative. In the words of former High Representative Solana, the list of Special Representatives is “in part, also a list of where our foreign and security policy priorities lie”.[63] By this reasoning, the priorities for African security lie in the Sahel (Michel Dominique Reveyrand-de Menthon), the Horn of Africa (Alexander Rondos) and the Middle East peace process (Fernando Gentilini). In the context of the increasing tendency to establish integrated regional strategies, these Special Representatives offer important added value. They can raise the national coordination by EU Delegations up to, and link it with, the regional level. However, these EUSRs are traditionally CFSP actors and are hence less familiar with fields such as development cooperation, humanitarian aid or trade. Moreover, the division of tasks between the Special Representatives and the EU Delegations is often unclear, and cooperation is limited.[64] Despite the existence of integrated strategies for the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Guinea there is, in other words, no single EU actor on the spot with a comprehensive knowledge of, and focus on, the conditions and implications of EU policy. As a result, the comprehensive approach is left without comprehensive leadership in its vital translation to the context to which it relates.

A third difficulty concerns the CSDP’s limited integration in the EU’s comprehensive approach. Under pressure from member states that feared losing control over the CSDP to the comprehensive approach, this competence is only mentioned in passing in the two basic documents. Nevertheless, the need to align the CSDP with other policy areas constitutes one of the biggest obstacles to the success of the comprehensive approach. With compartmentalised and often introverted institutions and procedures, the CSDP is developing as a ‘moving target’ in response to the challenges it addresses.[65] This makes it particularly difficult to pin down for coordination efforts. With the developing ‘civilising’ mission of the CSDP – increasingly long-term engagement and growing specialisation in the reform of the security sector and capacity-building – the interfaces with EU development cooperation in particular will inevitably increase. Civilian missions such as EUCAP Nestor, EUCAP Sahel Niger, EUBAM Libya and EUCAP Sahel Mali are entering territory that is already occupied actively by Commission-supported development projects, with obvious risks of fragmentation, duplication and inter-institutional tensions.

The way forward

In light of these difficulties, it is encouraging that the EU’s comprehensive approach does not present itself as a dogma carved in stone. “[T]he work is not over.”[66] The methodology must evolve further and offer a response to changing priorities and needs. Central to this is an annual action plan in which the High Representative and the Commission outline how “key actions set out in the Joint Communication and these Council Conclusions, in close cooperation with EU Member States, and based on concrete country and regional cases, will be taken forward, implemented and reported, with identified lead structures”.[67] The first such action plan was published in May 2015.[68] Although rather meagre in terms of concrete measures or commitments, it is important because it streamlines efforts relating to a number of thematic and geographical priorities. Four key actions were put forward for 2015. The involvement of the CSDP in the comprehensive approach is a particularly striking element here.

Firstly, work has been done on the guidelines covering the Joint Framework Documents (JFDs). According to the methodology of the comprehensive approach, these set out a shared strategic vision for all actions (including the CSDP) of the EU and its member states in a given country, based on a common contextual analysis in which the EU Delegations and member state embassies play a central role.

A second priority is capacity-building for security and development. This is an extension of the so-called ‘Train and Equip’ concept[69] and aims, by means of concerted CSDP and development initiatives, to put partner countries and regional organisations in a better position to prevent and manage crises themselves. Recent experiences with CSDP training missions in Mali and Somalia and the work on the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) have shown that in many cases, lasting and effective results are not achieved due to a lack of basic equipment in the partner country. These shortages range from footwear and uniforms to vehicles (in principle the EU does not supply lethal equipment). Given the considerable pressure on the limited budget for civilian CSDP missions, other external financing instruments (such as the Financial Instrument for Development Cooperation, the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace and the European Development Fund) may offer some relief here.

However, these tools are inadequate for this kind of support for the CSDP. In the EU multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, at least 90% of expenditure must fall within the OECD criteria for Official Development Assistance. Capacity-building in the security sector is not automatically ruled out by this criterion, but requires a specific exemption in each case.[70] In this connection, the African Peace Facility is more flexible, because as part of the European Development Fund it does not fall within the general EU budget. It thus plays an important role in APSA capacity-building, but most of its funding for 2014-2016 has already been swallowed up by financial support for the expensive African Union operations MISCA (Central African Republic) and AMISOM (Somalia). Moreover, this regional facility may not be used for spending at a national level. So in order to circumvent this limitation, the training centre of EUTM Somalia was presented as an AMISOM facility in the programming of the African Peace Facility. In April 2015, the Commission and the High Representative made a number of concrete suggestions to modify or extend the existing set of instruments and improve interaction with CSDP missions and operations.[71] For instance, work is currently being done on proposals for a new dedicated instrument – or a modification of the existing instruments – for capacity-building in the security sector, as well as on a comprehensive EU strategic framework for the reform of the security sector.

The third priority area also focuses on improved coordination between CSDP missions and operations and EU initiatives as a whole. Under the heading ‘transitions’, the EU wants to ensure that planning is coordinated between the EEAS, the Commission and member states at an earlier stage and more effectively, in order to smooth the transition between the different forms of EU involvement. The idea is that such transition strategies will be completely integrated into the planning of new and revised CSDP missions. This is vital, because results are often thrown away due to a lack of long-term vision and follow-up activities after CSDP interventions have come to an end. Thus, the EUNAVFOR Atalanta operation has already achieved impressive results in combating piracy in the Indian Ocean, but there is a very real danger that this phenomenon will reappear once the operation has been terminated. Firstly, the root causes of this problem on land are not being adequately addressed, i.e. the precarious state and security structure and lack of legitimate economic opportunities for Somalis. Secondly, countries in the region have not yet built up sufficient maritime and other capacity to take over the tasks of this operation – despite the EU’s training efforts through the EUCAP Nestor mission. Exit strategies are also lacking for rapid development interventions. The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, for example, is essential for restoring the necessary conditions for development cooperation, but follow-up is often flawed or even non-existent. For instance, an independent 2011 evaluation of the support given by the European Commission to conflict prevention and peace-building, revealed that only seven of the 36 country and regional strategy papers (Country Strategy Papers and Regional Strategy Papers) studied included an exit strategy to ensure the transition to long-term instruments.[72]

Fourthly, new methods are being developed for the rapid deployment of joint (EEAS, Commission, member states’) field missions. Such missions have been sent out previously for fact-finding and technical assessment to Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Algeria and Libya. The intention now is to systematise and institutionalise this ad hoc practice. This is necessary in order to utilise the Union’s different strengths and capacities effectively and proactively. Better coordination will also help in reducing the “unacceptable strain on the receiving host nation, causing confusion and some ambiguity of intent. [It] would show the EU in a better light, save money and favour more comprehensive planning.”[73]

The best way to test the EU’s comprehensive approach is in practice, and the action plan therefore sets four geographical priorities for 2015. These are the Sahel and Somalia along with Central America and Afghanistan. In line with the Regional Action Plan for the Sahel adopted in April 2015, the emphasis here is on preventing and countering radicalisation, creating opportunities for youth, migration and mobility, and border management and combating trafficking and transnational organised crime. Building on the Somali Compact (2013) and the EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa (2011), the comprehensive approach focuses in this country on developing shared (conflict) analysis and improved knowledge of the situation on the ground, more effective harmonisation of the different strengths and capacities of the EU (including capacity-building for peace and development), and a continued partnership with the African Union.

Finally, whereas Ashton proclaimed that “[W]e don’t need a new European security strategy: we have the comprehensive approach”,[74] her successor Mogherini has argued in forthright terms for a new strategy: “Vertical and horizontal silos hamper the EU’s potential global role. And in a world of mounting challenges and opportunities this is a luxury we cannot afford. In a more connected, contested and complex world, we need a clear sense of direction. We need to agree on our priorities, our goals and the means required to achieve them. We need a common, comprehensive and consistent EU global strategy.”[75]

At the European Council meeting of June 2015, Mogherini received a formal mandate to pursue this process of strategic reflection “with a view to preparing an EU global strategy on foreign and security policy to be submitted to the European Council by June 2016”.[76] It is therefore important to ask how this reflection and the eventual strategy relate to the EU’s comprehensive approach. That approach is first and foremost a way of collaborating across the boundaries of institutions, departments and policy areas. As Mogherini puts it above, the essence of a strategy lies in formulating and arriving at a consensus on the general priorities, goals and means required to achieve them. In this way, the two can form a complementary whole, with a security strategy that sets the overall direction and is implemented using the methods and policy processes of the EU’s comprehensive approach.

The EU’s comprehensive approach is still at an early and experimental stage. What is innovative about it is the transition from conceptualising to operationalising policy coherence. This has considerable potential, but continued efforts are needed to translate the proposed focus on integrated policy processes and contextual factors to all levels of the EU’s institutional framework – particularly in relation to the CSDP – and collaboration with the member states. These elements must prevent the comprehensive approach from becoming an empty political slogan, given that it is supposed to provide answers to highly diverse and complex challenges. The ultimate goal of these additional efforts should be to maximise interaction between departments, institutions and member states, to facilitate the exchange of insight, expertise and intelligence. This will then result in a better mix of the array of instruments available to the EU and its member states, tailored to the needs and requirements of each specific situation.

4. The CSDP in Africa

CSDP operations and missions in Africa

Since the first military operations and civilian missions were launched under the European Security and Defence Policy (the predecessor of the CSDP), the EU has been very active on the African continent. Operation Artemis, launched in 2003, was the first operation in Africa; its purpose was to help the UN stabilise the security situation in the Bunia region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The EU carried out 18 missions and operations (out of a total of 34) in Africa between 2003 and the end of 2015; nine have been completed and nine are still ongoing. Africa will remain the EU’s most likely area of operations in the future. Numerous factors play a role in this, including its geographical proximity and the risk of spill-over effects in Europe (in the shape of terrorism, organised crime and migration), concerns about the humanitarian situation, and historical ties arising from former colonial relationships. The EU also seems to have sufficient legitimacy for such involvement due to the broad nature of its actions.

Table 1 
Completed CSDP missions and operations in Africaa

Mission/operation (country)




Artemis DR Congo (DRC)




EUPOL Kinshasa (DRC)



2005 -2007

Support to AMIS (Sudan/Darfur)



2005 -2007








2007 -2014




2008 -2009

EUSSR Guinea-Bissau (Guinea-Bissau)



2008 -2010

EUAVSEC South Sudan (South Sudan)



2012 -2014





a) Data obtained from the website of the EEAS, unless otherwise indicated.
b) Maximum strength (planned or realised), international personnel only.
c) Source: SIPRI Multilateral Peace Missions Database.
d) Source: Thierry Tardy, EUFOR RCA: tough start, smooth end, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris, 2015, p. 17

Table 2 
Current CSDP missions and operations in Africaa

Mission/operation (country)








EUNAVFOR Atalanta (Somalia)




EUTM Somalia (Somalia)c




EUCAP Nestor (Djibouti, Somalia, Seychelles and Tanzania)




EUCAP Sahel (Niger)




EUTM Mali (Mali)




EUBAM Libya (Libya)d




EUCAP Sahel (Mali)








a) Data obtained from the website of the EEAS, unless otherwise indicated.
b) Maximum strength (planned or realised), international personnel only.
c) This training mission previously took place largely in Uganda; the headquarters moved to Mogadishu (Somalia) in early 2014.
d) This mission was withdrawn to Tunisia in October 2014; personnel numbers indicate current strength.

The number of missions and operations in Africa has shown an upward overall trend since 2003 (see Graph 1). Unlike in other parts of the world, where the EU deploys a higher proportion of civilian missions, on the African continent as many military operations (8) as civilian ones (8) have been deployed (plus 2 hybrid operations). The geographical focus is mainly on the Sahel region and the area to its south (sub-Sahara) as far as Central Africa. The EU has deployed missions and operations in the DRC (5, including 1 ongoing), Sudan, South Sudan, Chad and the CAR, as well as a small training mission in Guinea-Bissau. The EU is also active in the Horn of Africa: since 2008, it has patrolled the waters of Somalia as part of the Atalanta anti-piracy operation. This operation is complemented by two other CSDP missions: the EU launched a military training operation (EUTM Somalia) in Somalia in 2010, and the civilian mission EUCAP Nestor in July 2012, intended to strengthen maritime capacity in the region (practically speaking, it is a civilian-military mission). In recent years, the EU has also been active in Niger, Mali (with both a military and a civilian training mission) and Libya. The most recent operation was undertaken in the Central African Republic in March 2015.

The current EU maritime operation in the Mediterranean, EUNAVFOR Sophia, is not included on this list, although it is related directly to the spill-over effects of instability in North Africa and Libya in particular. This operation is linked closely to European border surveillance, and its primary purpose is therefore to reinforce security in Europe. This aspect is discussed later in this chapter.

Graph 1
Total number of CSDP missions and operations 2003-2015
Grafiek 1

The EU’s military operations are almost always larger in size than its civilian and hybrid missions – sometimes significantly larger. Africa is no exception here. Among the largest operations have been Operation Artemis and EUFOR Congo: some 2,000 troops were deployed on both these operations in Congo. As many as 3,700 troops were deployed for EUFOR Chad/CAR. However, the trend in recent years has been for fewer troops to be used in EU operations, primarily because the EU is focusing more on training and assistance. The latest EU military operation in Africa (EUMAM CAR) involves 60 troops. Numbers of civilian personnel on missions have been fairly stable over the years, although two capacity-building missions (EUCAP Nestor and EUCAP Sahel) have shown an upward trend.

The EU’s civilian missions in Africa generally last longer than the military operations (see Table 3). The longest mission (EUSEC DRC) has been running for more than ten years, but most missions fall into the one-to-five-years category. Of the four completed military operations, three lasted less than a year, while the longest (EUFOR Chad/CAR) ran for just over a year. These were operations at the higher end of the conflict spectrum, aimed at stabilisation and/or serving as a ‘bridge’ for other organisations. They were relatively large in size, with between 750 and 3,700 personnel deployed. The two military training missions which have been running for some time (EUTM Somalia and EUTM Mali) are both fairly small (≤550 personnel) and are situated relatively low down in the spectrum of violence. There thus seems to be a correlation between the duration of a CSDP operation and the type of mandate: the operation’s duration is inversely proportional to the risk that is taken.[77] The only exception to this seems to be Operation Atalanta: this has been running for some time, but it is not a training mission and it is fairly robust in character. It also remains to be seen whether and how EUMAM CAR fits in with this trend; it is a small military training mission and has not yet been running for more than a year.

Table 3 
Total duration of CSDP missions and operationsa

≤ 6 months

6 months – 1 year

1-5 years

5-10 years

≥10 years

Completed military operations




Ongoing military operations




Completed civilian missions



Ongoing civilian missions




a) The hybrid missions are included in this table under civilian missions.

The EU has carried out many different types of operations and missions in Africa: police missions, stabilisation operations, missions focusing on SSR, border surveillance missions, and so on. In this sense, the African continent is a kind of testing ground for CSDP activities. [78] The pattern of the EU’s civilian missions has been consistent: they focus mainly on training, education and assistance. Examples include police missions (EUPOL Kinshasa and EUPOL DR Congo) and SSR missions (EU SSR Guinea-Bissau, EUCAP Sahel Niger). The EU also deploys more specific missions, such as an aviation security mission in South Sudan (EUAVSEC South Sudan) and a border surveillance mission in Libya (Libya EUBAM).

A slight shift can be detected in the nature of military operations. Previous operations were aimed at stabilisation and usually supported other peace operations. For instance, Operation Artemis in 2003 was intended to stabilise the security situation before a UN peacekeeping force arrived. In the period 2005 to 2007, the EU supported the African Union mission in Sudan/Darfur with a hybrid civilian-military mission. Two other past operations were also intended to support other peace missions. The purpose of EUFOR DRC was to support the UN MONUC mission during elections in the country, and EUFOR Chad/CAR was intended as a temporary ‘bridging’ operation before the arrival of UN troops. Apart from this latter, military operations after 2010 have focused primarily on training and advising the security services. The first military training operation was launched in Somalia, where the EU has so far trained more than 4,000 Somali soldiers under EUTM Somalia. This was followed in 2013 by a similar operation in Mali (EUTM Mali) and in 2015 by the military advice operation EUMAM CAR in the Central African Republic. These operations very specifically have a training mandate, and exclude any form of participation in fighting. The EU has demonstrated its ability to deploy a variety of missions and operations in Africa. Capacity-building seems to be playing an increasingly central role in both military operations and civilian missions of the CSDP.[79] However, the EU has also shown that it can be flexible in terms of its mandate, and can adapt any mission or operation to the specific needs of the country.

The future of the CSDP in Africa

Given the political and social instability in regions such as the Sahel, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, the demand for crisis management operations in Africa is expected to increase rather than decrease (see Chapter 2). Fragile and failing states pose a particular challenge for the EU. Capacity-building will thus continue to play an important role in the wider security sector in the future, in particular by means of hybrid (primarily SSR) and civilian missions. The emphasis will be on small-scale missions involving providing advice at the (senior) management and organisational levels. As well as a wide array of instruments (civilian, military and community resources), the EU also has extensive experience in this field and is thus well-equipped to carry out this type of mission.

Military operations are expected to retain a strong focus on building local capacity through training and other forms of support. It is also expected that African organisations (such as the AU) and the UN will rely on high-tech niche capabilities to fill gaps that non-European troop suppliers are unable to fill.[80] The deployment of Dutch intelligence capacity in Mali (for MINUSMA) is one example of this. It is perfectly possible that the UN may also ask the EU to intervene in situations of serious human rights violations, war crimes or humanitarian emergencies. Such operations (also referred to as ‘initial entry operations’) will be at the higher end of the violence spectrum. The increasing use of heavier weapons, roadside bombs and other means of violence (see Chapter 3) will place higher demands on EU military operations. The use of heavier equipment and more fire power will need to be taken into account: both will be necessary for escalation dominance. The growing threat of roadside bombs and terrorist attacks means that force protection remains a high priority.[81]

Many of the conflicts in African countries have a complex mix of root causes. Addressing such crises therefore requires a long-term approach, as indicated in the joint Communication of the High Representative and the Commissionon ‘The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises’, issued in late 2013 (see Chapter 3). However a long-term approach often begins with the deployment of military and civilian CSDP resources, and the continued demand for the deployment of troops, police and other civilian actors is at odds with the diminishing willingness of EU member states to supply personnel for CSDP operations (especially military personnel). This is partly for financial reasons: cuts in defence budgets mean that fewer military capabilities are available, and operations cannot be ‘sustained’ for as long. In part, too, there seems to be a general ‘intervention fatigue’, which first appeared after EU member states’ prolonged involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.[82] A complicating factor here is that the circumstances in which operations take place are expected to grow increasingly dangerous. As well as entailing ever greater requirements for force protection (even for training missions), this raises the fundamental question of whether the EU member states are willing to deploy their capabilities on missions at the higher end of the spectrum. The EU Battlegroups, the permanent military rapid-reaction units that have stood ready since 2007, have not yet been used – despite the need in crisis situations in places such as Mali and the Central African Republic for rapid deployment of combat troops. Political will is crucial here; this will remain true in the future.

Most conflicts in Africa are not confined within national borders, but are transnational in nature. Tackling these crises therefore requires not just a comprehensive approach, but a regional one too. The EU recognises this and is attempting to define regional integrated strategies (see Chapter 3). For CSDP operations, this raises the question of whether military operations and civilian missions must be confined to one country’s territory, as is usually the case. Even EUCAP Sahel Niger, originally intended as a broader regional mission, now focuses mainly on developing Niger’s security sector.[83] One significant impediment to the more transnational deployment of CSDP operations is the UN mandate that is required in the EU to launch military operations. Such mandates are confined within the national borders of a sovereign state and thus impede the organisation of transnational crisis management operations within a broader regional approach.

Because of the danger of spill-over effects, the EU is developing a growing number of activities focusing on internal security, such as counter-terrorism and border surveillance. External security (causes) and internal security (impacts) come together in such operations.[84] Mandates for external (CSDP) operations are influenced increasingly by internal security objectives. The military training operation EUTM Mali has as an explicit objective to “neutralise organised crime and terrorist threats”.[85] The fight against terrorism is identified as one of the objectives in the mandate of EUCAP Sahel Niger. In its recently-formulated Sahel Regional Action Plan, the EU emphasised increasing security by combating terrorism, trafficking, radicalisation and violent extremism. Accordingly, the Council decided to strengthen the EUCAP Sahel Niger mission to prevent illegal immigration and reduce related criminality.[86] Another clear example is the EUBAM Libya mission, which aims to counter illegal migration into Europe by helping the Libyan authorities secure the country’s borders. In itself it is understandable that the EU should place more emphasis on security objectives, if only in an attempt to increase member states’ willingness to participate in missions. At the same time, care must be taken to ensure that these targets are not over-prioritised, as this may provoke mistrust on the part of the host state and cause it to refuse further cooperation, making it impossible to undertake or continue the mission.

For the EU, the importance of collaboration with regional and sub-regional organisations such as ECOWAS and the AU is increasing. The aim is to put these organisations in a better position to prevent and manage crises in the region themselves. As noted previously in the Clingendael Report 2014 in-depth study, Peace operations in a changing world, a certain division of labour seems to have arisen by which African partners provide ‘boots on the ground’, while the EU supplies mainly temporary and supplementary special capabilities.[87] However, working with African partners is not without its problems, as noted in previous chapters. Firstly, it creates political problems, because intervention by neighbouring countries undermines the mission’s neutrality and often makes conflict situations even more complex. Secondly, there are practical problems associated with inadequate basic equipment and funding of missions. Apart from this, there is also criticism of the outsourcing model in principle. Given the current threats that the EU faces and which originate partly on the African continent, the EU should be prepared to make more of a contribution itself, either by carrying out its own missions in times of crisis, or by forming a serious partnership with these sub-regional organisations that goes beyond financial support.[88]

Cooperation: problems and improvements

The comprehensive approach outlined in Chapter 3 requires deepening cooperation between all relevant EU actors, inside and outside the CSDP. Four areas can be distinguished here: cooperation between the operational level (‘the field’) and the strategic level (Brussels); interaction between the different European actors themselves; the planning and control of CSDP operations; and, finally, the consequences of the increasing intertwining of external and internal security.

Cooperation between ‘the field’ and Brussels

The EU has made progress in this area in recent years (see Chapter 3), and the CSDP has reaped the benefits of this. Thus coordination has improved between EU Delegations, which play an important role in conflict prevention, early warning and crisis response, and CSDP actors. Most CSDP missions in Africa have a liaison officer in the EU Delegations. This method of coordination enhances the functioning of a mission such as EUCAP Sahel Niger, where there is close cooperation between the EU Delegation and the mission. In some cases, however, cooperation has been inadequate, such as EUAVSEC South Sudan.[89] The Delegations in general contend with a lack of resources and staff, and are very dependent operationally on the Head of Delegation (HoD). Specifically in the African context, there is also a lack of expertise in the security-development nexus, which makes it hard to implement the comprehensive approach. This could be improved considerably by increasing and enhancing cooperation with the EU Special Representatives and Brussels, and in particular with DG DEVCO, but such cooperation remains difficult (see Chapter 3). It would also be good to have more specific military expertise in EU Delegations, for example in the form of permanent military attachés.[90]

Interaction between EU actors

The EU Special Representatives contribute to the EU’s visibility in the world and act as ‘eyes and ears’ for the European institutions in crisis regions such as the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. They are also expected to contribute to the coordination between the different EU actors in the field, including CSDP actors. The SRs were previously largely integrated into the command structure of civilian CSDP missions, with the Head of Mission reporting to the SR. Now their role is more limited to giving political advice to the leadership of both missions and operations.[91] Coordination between the different EU institutions has proved difficult, because the SRs have no formal competence for the activities of the EEAS and the Commission. In the case of the Sahel, this has led to frictions between the EUSR and the EEAS Sahel coordinator.[92] As stated, cooperation between the EU Delegations and the SRs is also limited. Improved cooperation and a clearer positioning of the EUSRs relative to the EEAS and other actors would help increase the added value of the EUSRs.

In Brussels, new mechanisms such as the Crisis Management Board and the Crisis Platform have improved cooperation between the various crisis management actors, but have not been able to overcome the structural barriers between EU institutions. The ad hoc use of the Crisis Platform makes the transition more difficult between the short-term crisis response of the CSDP structures and the Commission’s long-term activities.[93]

Civilian-military headquarters

At the Brussels level, lack of inter-institutional cooperation is still one of the biggest obstacles to the comprehensive approach (see Chapter 3). Internal cooperation is also difficult within the CSDP structures themselves however, particularly between CMPD and CPCC in the planning phase. This hinders the rapid launch of missions in Africa.[94] The solution lies in integrating planning and control capabilities by housing all existing structures in a permanent EU Operation Headquarters (OHQ) in Brussels.[95] Such a headquarters, consisting of civilian and military departments under the same roof, could ensure that military operations and civilian missions are aligned closely from the initial planning stage onwards.[96] The United Kingdom’s contention that this would duplicate NATO structures is no longer valid, since the point here would be specifically to strengthen the comprehensive approach, for which the EU has the comparative advantage of its own deployment of both military and civilian resources.

The external-internal security nexus

Recognition of the existence of the internal-external security nexus has intensified cooperation between the CSDP and Freedom-Security and Justice (FSJ) actors. This became very visible in 2015 with the launch of the CSDP EUNAVFOR Mediterranean operation, which aims to counter human smuggling and human trafficking from Libya to Europe. The first phase, which began on 22 June 2015, focused on identifying and Reporting criminal networks and trafficking patterns. In the second phase, authorisation has been given to investigate and seize smugglers’ boats. With the start of the second phase, the name of the operation changed to EUNAVFOR Sophia. With this military operation, the CSDP instrument is now also being used to address the direct effects of instability in Africa. This has also cast civilian-military cooperation in a new light. Whereas in the past this meant cooperation between military and civilian actors in crisis areas, it is now also about concrete interaction between military CSDP actors and civil actors in the FSJ area. Operation Sophia is working very closely with the Frontex operation Triton.[97] This operation puts the CSDP at the interface between external and internal security.[98]

Cooperation with European agencies is also becoming more common in the traditional CSDP missions and operations. In the African context, the close involvement of Frontex during both the planning and implementation stages of EUBAM Libya can be cited as an example. Cooperation also takes place with Interpol, for instance in the case of EUNAVFOR Atalanta; data collected during the mission is distributed via Interpol channels. Cooperation with Europol has been on a smaller scale so far: initial steps have been taken, but not yet in Africa. CSDP missions would benefit from cooperation with this agency, especially for information exchange. Given the current refugee and migration crisis in Europe, in which many of the migrants come from African countries, further involvement of agencies (in particular Frontex) is very likely.


Both the changing conflict situations in Africa and the comprehensive approach affect the capabilities being requested from EU member states. Instability on the continent will increase the demand for EU crisis management operations. Initially, this will consist mainly of capacity-building missions, but the question is whether this will be enough. As conflicts become more violent, this will require other capabilities from the EU – either to be deployed independently or as niche support for other actors such as the AU or the UN. Calls for the deployment of EU Battlegroups in initial entry situations and as a bridge to a broader African or UN operation may grow louder. What is certain is that the complexity of conflicts’ root causes and their transnational nature require an integrated, regional approach. To an increasing degree, operations related to the EU’s internal security form part of this approach. All this has consequences for the military power of European countries, which will be called upon more frequently, especially for use in hybrid and civilian missions. A comprehensive approach also requires a high level of cooperation, both between the field and the EU institutions, and between the different actors in Brussels. It is the joint responsibility of EU member states and EU institutions to implement the comprehensive approach effectively, and thus contribute to stability and security in Africa.

5. Conclusions

Africa as a continent of conflict

Africa remains the most unstable continent. Conflicts continue to proliferate, and many countries in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa are failing to make the transition to minimal stability.
Causes of conflicts often lie in a complex mix of underdevelopment, patrimonial state structures, fragmented societies, regional factors and demographics.
Religious radicalisation associated with political violence and terrorism has spread from North Africa via the Sahel to sub-Saharan Africa. A less well-known development is the emergence of new Christian movements that are forming ties with (autocratic) political forces and offering social support for radical (Christian) youth.
Instability in large parts of Africa is reinforcing the proliferation of weapons. The intensity of violence is increasing. Roadside bombs (improvised explosive devices) in particular are claiming increasing numbers of victims.
International involvement in the form of interventions and peacekeeping is characterised by a patchwork of operations by the UN, the EU, African organisations and individual countries. Operationally, more attention is now being paid to countering religious radicalisation and terrorism (at the expense of stabilisation and normalisation).
African countries are supplying a growing proportion of international peacekeeping missions, but this brings new problems with it because of the national political, economic and financial interests involved. Moreover, there is a twilight zone of purely national interventions, especially in immediately neighbouring countries.
African economies have stagnated due to their reliance on commodity exports, which means that developments on the global market affect Africa directly. Too little effort is being made to improve sectors that will reinforce the economy structurally, such as transport, infrastructure and education.
The population of Africa is the fastest-growing in the world, from 1.2 billion today to 2.5 billion in 2050. The rate of increase is fastest in the Sahel region. These demographic developments are creating major problems for young people, regardless of educational level, who have little prospect of employment.
Democratisation and good governance programmes have produced very little. Presidential power structures and corruption usually remain prevalent. Elections are not generally followed by reforms and administrative changes.
Outside the expanding conflict zone (North Africa, Sahel, immediately sub-Saharan Africa), political tensions elsewhere on the continent are mounting. In Central Africa (DRC, Burundi), the cause lies in weak states and tense ethnic relations. In Southern Africa, socio-economic factors are more responsible for the growing (internal) instability.
The EU must take the growing influence of other actors in Africa (China, India, Brazil, USA) into account. However, developments in Africa will continue to affect Europe. The approach requires close EU cooperation with African actors, with economic growth and development as the key to achieving more stability and reversing the increase in migration and terrorism.

The EU’s comprehensive approach

The EU High Representative/European External Action Service, the European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers have fleshed out the comprehensive approach with new coordination mechanisms and consultation processes. These are based on a systematic and pragmatic approach in which the various policy instruments are used in a flexible, tailor-made fashion.
The operational translation of this innovative approach to all levels of intra- and inter-institutional cooperation is proceeding with more difficulty, however. The principles and structures of integrated cooperation have not yet penetrated the various departments of the EEAS, the Commission and Council sufficiently. In the field, both EU Special Representatives and EU Delegations lack knowledge of, and expertise in, all components of the array of EU instruments.
Integrating the Common Security and Defence Policy into the EU’s comprehensive approach is also proving difficult. Moreover, (civilian) EU missions are entering the field of training and capacity-building increasingly, so that the CSDP is straying frequently into the territory of projects managed by the Commission.
One hopeful sign is the commitment of the HR and the Commission to review progress on the comprehensive approach, and to engage in streamlining annually. Current efforts are directed primarily at aligning the CSDP and development cooperation more closely together, among other means by aligning both areas with capacity-building for security and development (an extension of Train and Equip). Under this heading, ways are currently being considered of extending the often-limited external financing instruments managed by the Commission and making them more readily available for support to CSDP missions and operations.
Far greater use needs to be made of the CSDP to support EU transition strategies with a longer timeframe. Thus the CSDP’s exit planning should be linked explicitly to the use of instruments focusing on the transition to sustainable peace in the longer term. The Sahel and Somalia are important testing grounds for this.
The new strategy for foreign and security policy, to be submitted to the European Council in June 2016, has the potential to make an important contribution by setting the overall direction for the cooperation processes of the comprehensive approach.
The EU’s comprehensive approach has considerable potential, but success will depend primarily on maximising interaction between departments, institutions and member states, which may in turn increase mutual understanding, trust and the exchange of expertise.

The CSDP in Africa

Africa remains the most likely area of operations for the CSDP. Demand for European crisis management operations will increase further, with greater emphasis on capacity-building in the wider security sector, especially with civilian-military (hybrid) and civilian missions.
Military operations will also focus primarily on training and education in order to strengthen local military capabilities. Additionally, African organisations and the EU continue to rely on European niche capabilities such as high-quality intelligence.
European countries must also consider intervening at the higher end of the spectrum in acute crises. Generally, the increasing use and intensity of violence in Africa is placing higher demands on the use of EU military resources. Political will evidently remain the crucial criterion for deployment of such capabilities (such as the EU Battlegroups).
The cross-frontier nature of conflicts in Africa raises questions about the effectiveness of UN and other mandates and CSDP and other operations being confined to the territory of individual states.
Strengthening relations between the field and Brussels requires closer cooperation between Brussels CSDP structures, EU Delegations and Special Representatives. Appointments of military liaison officers can help ensure this.
EU Special Representatives have an important role to play in strengthening interaction between all EU actors in the field, but they must obtain additional powers and capabilities in order to do this.
At the strategic level in Brussels, the comprehensive approach requires the establishment of a Civilian-Military Operation Headquarters to ensure close alignment of the EU’s array of instruments in the planning phase and in the direction of operations. In addition to the existing Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability, a Military Planning and Conduct Capability would need to be created; the two would be accommodated together in the Civilian-Military Headquarters.
The close relationship between external and internal security has become very apparent with the exponential growth of migration flows towards Europe from Africa and the Middle East. This has implications for the CSDP, which is becoming more explicitly connected (in terms of mandates and activities) with ‘internal’ security issues such as border surveillance.
The European Union in a changing global environment – A more connected, contested and complex world, European External Action Service, 2015, p.2
In the past decade, coups or attempted coups have occurred in Mauritania (2005, 2008), Guinea (2008), Madagascar (2009), Niger (2010), Mali (2012), Guinea-Bissau (2012), the Central African Republic (2013) and Burundi (2015).
It remains to be seen whether the lessons of the past will be applied. For instance, the relationship between the Malian government and the north of the country remains difficult. Lauren Bigot, ‘Permis de tuer au Sahel’, Le Monde, 2 Novembre 2015.
Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2015, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, London, October 2015
World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development, World Bank, Washington, 2011, p. 51
SADC: Southern African Development Community; CEEAC: Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale; ECOWAS: Economic Community of West African States; IGAD: Intergovernmental Authority on Development
Nigeria was the African country most affected in 2014, according to figures from the US State Department. In 2015, a significant increase has been observed in Chad and Cameroon, and previously also in Kenya and Somalia.
Guido Steinberg, Annette Weber, Jihadism in Africa – Local causes, regional expansion, international alliances, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin, 2015. Thus Al-Shabaab in Kenya has found fertile ground in the coastal region and among the ethnic Somali, who have experienced a high level of political frustration with the Kenyan state for decades; similar frustrations also exist in Ethiopia among structurally under-represented and underdeveloped populations.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Since its affiliation with ISIS in 2015 the group has adopted the name Wilayat al Sudan al Gharbi.
Cameroon: The Threat of Religious Radicalism, International Crisis Group, Brussels, September 2015, p.10
A. Botha, M. Abdile, Radicalisation and al-Shabaab recruitment in Somalia, Institute for Security tudies, Pretoria, 2014
Jennifer G. Cooke, Richard Downie, Religious Authority and the State in Africa, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, 2015, p. 29
Jan Rood, Frans-Paul van der Putten, Minke Meijnders, A world order balancing on the brink – Clingendael Strategic Report 2014, Clingendael Institute, The Hague, June 2014
Margriet Drent, Rob Hendriks, Dick Zandee, New Threats, New EU and NATO Responses, Clingendael Institute, The Hague, 2015
Josh Butler, Landmine threats down, IED threats rising, Inter Press Service, 2 April 2015
Jeremy Binnie, ‘Analysis: UN peacekeepers struggle against IED’s in Africa’, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 6 January 2015
Lisa Sharland, Counter-IED technology in UN peacekeeping, International Peace Institute, New York, 2015, p. 5
Scott Stewart, An unprecedented use of female suicide bombers, Stratfor, Austin, Texas, 2015
Final report of the Group of Experts on the DRC, UN Security Council, New York, January 2015, p. 29.
Jakkie Cilliers, ‘Conflict trends in Africa: a turn for the better in 2015’, International Security Studies Today, Pretoria, 4 November 2015
With some interesting troop contributors. Thus the DRC, where the largest UN mission is deployed, provides a battalion of troops to the UN mission in the neighbouring CAR. Ethiopia is currently the largest supplier of troops from Africa. All deployed Ethiopian troops operate in Ethiopia’s immediate neighbours.
The Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) consists of more than 22,000 personnel, including police and military components.
This mission, deployed mostly in the CAR, is supported by US Special Forces. See: Paul Ronan, The Kony Crossroads – President Obama’s Chance to Define His Legacy on the LRA Crisis, The Resolve, Washington, 2015
Cecilian Hull Wiklund, Gabriella Ingerstad, The Regionalisation of Peace Operations in Africa - Advantages, challenges and the way ahead, Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, Stockholm, 2015, p. 42
Troops from Chad were eventually removed for this reason from MISCA, the AU peacekeeping force in the CAR, in 2014.
This is especially true of Somalia. The contingents from Kenya and Ethiopia conduct their own operations and are stationed mainly in areas of interest to the two countries.
Ty McCormick, ‘Al-Shabab’s Resilient Insurgency’, Foreign Policy, Washington, 24 July 2015
Charles Ndayiziga, Enjeux autour de l’intervention du Burundi en Somalie, Egmont Institute, Bruxelles, 2013. The direct benefits paid to contingents (per diem financial allowances) are often sizeable, and make even dangerous missions such as AMISOM popular – as is the case for Burundi. However, hazardous situations can arise – as during a previous coup in Ivory Coast (1999) or more recent protests in Cameroon – if promised rewards are paid late or not at all.
The EU makes a significant financial contribution here with the African Peace Facility (APF); see Chapter 3.
Recently mainly in the CAR, where the French contingent (Operation Sangaris) has also come under fire, with serious political implications for the credibility of the international presence. The allegations ultimately led to the resignation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN. See: Nick Cumming-Bruce, ‘UN official says French learned early of abuse’, International New York Times, New York, 15 October 2015
Congo: ending the Status Quo, International Crisis Group, Brussels, December 2014
More and more countries are developing a fairly sophisticated capacity. The Ugandan intervention in South Sudan included air support from SU-30 aircraft and Mi-24 helicopters. In the Sahel region, the preference seems to be for aircraft such as the Embraer Tucano, which has both a reconnaissance and a ground attack capability. Air resources are also used in many ways in the fight against Boko Haram.
African-led counter-terrorism measures against Boko Haram, European Parliament Research Service, Brussels, March 2015. This last case, like the deployment of troops from neighbouring countries in Somalia, is unusual because of the external interest in counter-terrorism. Thus France, the UK and the US are providing assistance with intelligence, the use of special forces and unmanned platforms. Helene Cooper, 'To Aid Boko Haram Fight, Obama Orders 300 Troops to Cameroon', International New York Times, New York, 14 October 2015.
François Soudan, ’L’Afrique frissonne’, Jeune Afrique No. 2857, Paris, 17 Octobre 2015; Sub-Saharan Africa – World Economic Prospects, World Bank, Washington, June 2015
In 2008 and in the spring of 2015, South Africa experienced a significant explosion of xenophobic violence against migrants, mainly from other countries in Southern Africa. T. Hamdziripi, ‘Xenophobia in South Africa: dispelling the myths, explaining the reality’, ISS Today, 12 February 2015
World Population Prospects – The 2015 Revision. Key findings and advance tables, United Nations, New York, 2015, p. 1
Lilli Sippel, et al., Africa's Demographic Challenges- How a young population can make development possible, Berlin Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung, 2011
Serge Michailof, Africanistan, Fayard, Paris, 2015, p. 28
Jakkie Cilliers, Julia Schüneman, The future of intrastate conflict in Africa – More violence or greater peace?, Institute of Security Studies, Pretoria, 2013
Serge Michailof, op. cit.
Jakkie Cilliers, Julia Schüneman, op. cit.
Nic Cheeseman, Democracy in Africa, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2015
Thierry Vircoulon, Insights from the Burundian Crisis (I): An Army divided and losing its Way, International Crisis Group, Brussels, 2 October 2015
World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development, World Bank, Washington, 2011
The list of long-serving heads of state in the region is impressive: Sassou Nguesso (Republic of Congo) since 1997 (and previously between 1979 and 1992); Obiang Nguema (Equatorial Guinea) since 1979; Paul Biya (Cameroon) since 1982; Idriss Deby (Chad) since 1990; Paul Kagame (Rwanda) since 2000; Joseph Kabila (DRC) since 2001. In Gabon, the regime is a dynastic continuation of the Bongo regime by Bongo’s son.
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross et al., The Crisis in North Africa, Implications for Europe and Options for EU Policymakers, Clingendael Institute, The Hague, 2015
Not just in transit – Drugs, the State and Society in West Africa, West Africa Commission on Drugs, Geneva, June 2014
Sudan, Uganda: The End of a Rivalry, Stratfor, Austin, Texas, September 2015
The Emirati Navy Arrives in Eritrea, Stratfor, Austin, Texas, October 2015
Catherine Ashton, Statement on EEAS Review, Strasbourg, 2013
High Representative and European Commission, Joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council: The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises, Brussels, 2013
Council conclusions on the EU’s comprehensive approach, Foreign Affairs Council, 3312th meeting, Brussels, 2014
High Representative and European Commission, op. cit.
ECHO: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department; DG DEVCO: Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development
Operating in Situations of Conflict and Fragility: An EU Staff Handbook, Brussels, European Commission, 2014
See for example: Council Conclusions on the EU Response to Situations of Fragility, General Affairs and External Relations Council, 2831st meeting, Brussels, 2007; Council conclusions on Security and Development, General Affairs and External Relations Council, 2831st meeting, Brussels, 2007; Policy Coherence for Development: Accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals, European Commission, Brussels, 2005
Foreign Affairs Council, 2014, op. cit.
See also: Guidance Note on the Use of Conflict Analysis in Support of EU External Action, EEAS and European Commission, Brussels, 2013
Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, EEAS, Brussels, 2011; Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa, Foreign Affairs Council, 3124th meeting, Brussels, 2011; High Representative and European Commission, Joint Communication on a Strategic Framework for the Great Lakes Region, Brussels, 2013; EU Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea, Foreign Affairs Council, 3324th meeting, Brussels, 2014
The military operation, which aimed to support humanitarian assistance in the country, was outlined in a Council Decision of 1 April 2011. See: Council decision on a European Union military operation in support of humanitarian assistance operations in response to the crisis situation in Libya (EUFOR Libya), Council of the European Union, Brussels, 2011. The operation was never launched.
J. Wouters et al., The Organisation and Functioning of the European External Action Service: Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities, Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, Brussels, 2013
Javier Solana, ‘Opening remarks’ at seminar with EU Special Representatives, Brussels, 29 June 2005
A report by the European Court of Auditors states that only half of the surveyed EU Heads of Delegation believe they are properly informed about the activities of the Special Representatives in their region. See: The Establishment of the European External Action Service –Special Report No.11, European Court of Auditors, Brussels, 2014.
Simon Stroß, One Goal, Many Paths: The Promotion of Policy Coherence for Development in EU Policy Formulation, Druck und Verlag: epubli GmbH Berlin, 2014
High Representative and European Commission, 2013, op. cit.
EU Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea, Foreign Affairs Council, 3324th Council Meeting, Brussels, 2014
High Representative and European Commission, Taking forward the EU’s Comprehensive Approach to external conflict and crises Action Plan, Brussels, 2015
Thierry Tardy, Enabling partners to manage crises. From ‘train and equip’ to capacity-building, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris, 18 June 2015, p. 18
Thus the Instrument contributing to Safety and Peace, for example, has been used for material support for the civil security services in Niger and Mali.
Capacity building in support of security and development – Enabling partners to prevent and manage crises, High Representative and European Commission, Brussels, 2015
Thematic Evaluation of European Commission Support to Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building, Aide à la Décision Economique, Louvain-le-Neuve, Octobre 2011
Annual 2013 CSDP Lessons Report, EEAS, Brussels, March 2014
Quoted in: Damien Helly, Greta Galeazzi, Avant la lettre? The EU’s comprehensive approach (to crises) in the Sahel, European Centre for Development Policy Management, Maastricht, February 2015, p. 75
EEAS, 2015, op. cit.
Conclusions of the European Council, European Council, June 2015
Thierry Tardy, op. cit., p. 134
R.G. Whitman, ´The EU and Sub-Saharan Africa’, in: Sven Biscop, R.G. Whitman, The Routledge Handbook of European Security, Routledge, London, 2012
Thierry Tardy, op. cit., p. 134
Luc van der Goor, et al., ‘Peacekeeping operations in a changing world’, in: A world order balancing on the brink – Clingendael Strategic Report 2014, Clingendael Institute, The Hague, June 2014
See inter al.: Margriet Drent, Rob Hendriks, Dick Zandee, op. cit.
Tim Haesebrouck, Melanie Meirvenne, ‘EU-geleide crisismanagement-operaties: minder, kleinschaliger en pragmatischer’, Internationale Spectator, Den Haag, december 2013, p. 12
Nicoletta Pirozzi, ‘The European Union and Civilian Crisis Management after Lisbon’,European Foreign Affairs Review, 2015, p. 300
For a detailed discussion of this, see: Dick Zandee et al., ‘The relationship between external and internal security’, in: Jan Rood et al., A world order balancing on the brink – Clingendael Strategic Report 2014, Clingendael Institute, The Hague, June 2014, pp. 69-140.
EUCAP Sahel Niger to help prevent irregular migration, Council of the European Union, May 2015
Luc van der Goor et al., op. cit.
R. Gowan, N. Witney, Why Europe must stop outsourcing its security, European Council of Foreign Relations, London, 2014
Nicoletta Pirozzi, op. cit.
Damien Helly, Greta Galeazzi, op. cit., p. 70
Dominik Tolksdorf, ‘Diplomacy at the Individual Level: The Role of the EU Special Representatives in European Foreign Policy’, in: J. A. Koops, G Macaj, The EU as a diplomatic actor, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2015
Nicole Koenig, Resetting EU External Action: Potential and Constraints, Jacques Delors Institut, Berlin, 2015, p. 125
Nicoletta Pirozzi, op. cit.
Margriet Drent, Dick Zandee, Breaking Pillars – Towards a civil-military security approach for the European Union, Clingendael Institute, The Hague, 2010
In addition to the existing CPCC there would then need to be a Military Planning and Conduct Capability. See: Margriet Drent, Dick Zandee, Eva Maas, Defence matters: more urgent than ever, Clingendael Institute, The Hague, 2015
Both operational headquarters are located at the Italian command centre in Santa Rosa (near Rome); information is shared and there is cooperation on rescue operations.
EU’s naval mission in Mediterranean sets precedents, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, October 2015