The study by GEF, with support of the Swedish think-tank Cogito, gives an overview of the European Union’s policies on peace, security, and conflict management, analysing both the civilian and military dimensions of Europe’s peace operations. It advocates for a clear and coherent position of the EU as an actor in civilian peace-operations only.
The study points out the difficulties that arise from the role of the EU as a promoter of world peace and the EU’s progressive investments in military activities. To give but one example, already in 1999, the European Parliament took initial steps towards establishing a European Civilian Peace Corps (ECPC). To date, no tangible results have been obtained and in the spring of 2009 the EP reiterated its demand that the ECPC be set-up. On the other hand, during the same ten-year period, the EU established a military apparatus in Brussels and has dispatched EU soldiers on a number of EU military missions. This seems to convey the message that the European Union gives priority to military actions over peace promotion missions. Confronted with the reality of European peace missions, do we have to conclude that there is a serious lack of support for the civilian option in reality?
Civilian oriented peace operations
The report aims to provide a factual picture of the European Union’s contributions to peace, with an emphasis on its civilian aspects (the status of these contributions, their impact and the possibilities for their further development). The ambition is to spark a debate on the role of the EU and its potential impact in the area of civilian peace operations. In other words, the report recommends bringing the ‘civilisation’ of EU peace missions to the core of the discussions on the EU’s role in peace-keeping and peace-building around the globe.