ISIS Europe and DCAF


ISIS Europe and DCAF Briefing Paper Series Communicate, Coordinate and Cooperate: Cohering Crisis Management in the post-Lisbon Era

2010 was a year of change in the EU institutions. The European Parliament and the Council approved the process for the formation and implementation for the new EU External Action Service (EAS) under the Lisbon Treaty. The EAS – which si now the main body responsible for the EU’s action on crisis management and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), has nearly completed its structure and staffing process that began in December 2010.

The question is, how are the EU’s policies and implementation going to be encompassed within this new structure.  Will there be an improvement in communication, coordination and cooperation? What resources and departments will lead the direction, now that the EU is aiming to ‘depillarise’ its previously contentious division of labour for crisis management – notably with Security Sector Reform (SSR). In particular, what will be the EAS’ engagement in partnerships and with civil society – both in Brussels, the EU and in the field - and its role in humanitarian response?

DCAF and ISIS Europe are currently working on a series of papers on the spectrum of crisis management, which will analyse these questions and more throughout the new development phase of the EAS and policy direction during and beyond 2011. 

An initial roundtable in September 2010 held in Brussels, presented two working papers and a conceptual commentary from established authors and institutes to preface this work. A further series of roundtables in 2011 presented each draft working paper for feedback before finalisation and publication.



In the framework of this project, ISIS Europe and DCAF jointly held a series of roundtables on topics addressed during the project.

- Tuesday, 18 October 2011

·         International Peace Mediation: a new crossroads for the European Union
·         The EU and its partners: the new shape of multilateral security

- Thursday, 17 March 2011

·         The EU and Crisis Management in Africa

- Monday, 20 September, 2010

·         Political considerations behind CSDP missions
·         Humanitarian aid in the post-Lisbon era
·         Civilian dimensions in Crisis Management
·         SSR under CSDP: identifying current needs


Paper 1 of the series
Security Sector Reform Missions under CSDP: Addressing Current Needs
by Sebastian Bloching

 – Executive Summary –

ISIS Europe, August 2011

This paper highlights some major operational challenges that hinder Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission planners and field personnel from effectively implementing security sector reform (SSR) missions. Member States have launched 13 SSR missions without mustering the political will to supply sufficient adequately-trained personnel, money and equipment. The European External Action Service (EAS) with its EU Delegations certainly has the potential to improve integrated planning of SSR missions, though it remains to be seen how its constituent parts i.e. staff and departments from the Council, Commission and Member States, will interact in practice. Also, given that the great majority of CSDP missions are of civilian nature, more resources will be needed for civilian planning as well as evaluation of past engagement. Continue reading.

For the entire publication, click here.


Paper 2 of the series

The politics of EU civilian interventions
and the strategic deficit of CSDP

by Catriona Gourlay

 – Executive Summary –

ISIS Europe, September 2011

This paper provides an overview Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) decision-making relating to civilian CSDP missions to date, focusing on the early political consultation and planning phases. Its conclusions confirm the top-down nature of CSDP. Operations are typically reactive in so far as they require a request for assistance from a host state or International Organisation coupled with leadership from one or more member states – often those holding the EU Presidency. In short, civilian CSDP missions have required internal leadership by a member state in response to external demand. Continue reading.


For the entire publication, click here.

Paper 3 of the series

A Strategy In Search Of Two Continents:
The EU and Crisis Management In Africa

by Dr. David Chuter

 – Executive Summary –

ISIS Europe, September 2011

The turn of the year 2010/11 saw not only the inauguration of the new European External Action Service, (EAS) but also the holding of the 3rd EU Africa Summit, in Tripoli on 29-30 November 2010. It is therefore an appropriate moment to take stock of both progress and failures in this relationship, and to ask whether the new institutional arrangements in Europe are likely to enhance the first and reduce the second. Continue reading.

For the entire publication, click here

Paper 4 of the series

International Peace Mediation:
a new crossroads  for the European Union

by Dr. Antje Herrberg

 – Executive Summary –

ISIS Europe, October 2011

The rising evidence that mediation is a useful tool in resolving intrastate conflicts is only beginning to reach the EU’s policy makers. Working towards realizing the soft power potential of the EU as a civilian actor in this field, requires a full, and not a superficial understanding about the enormous value added that a structured, systematic approach in conflict resolution could bring. Too much time and energy is spent deciding on foreign policy actions that attempt to magnify the power of the European Union through leverage and pressure, where the aspect of responding to the need in helping conflict parties to resolve their disputes is often left aside. This is dismissive of the billions of euros that are spent for development aid and projects that involve civil society which work towards creating just and equitable societies that are not about conflict, but peace. Continue reading.

For the entire publication, click here