The EU introduced the approach of ‘mainstreaming’ conflict prevention into all elements of its programming and policy-making in 2001. Mainstreaming conflict prevention means that conflict prevention should be systematically incorporated into all areas of EU policy and engagement in third countries. This implies conflict-sensitivity in all areas of programming. QCEA is studying the impact this new approach has had on EU action in the ACP-countries and has published two reports:

Conflict prevention in EU development cooperation

The purpose of the report is to assess if and how the European Commission mainstreams conflict prevention in its development cooperation. The report focuses especially on policy formulation and programming, that is to say how conflict prevention is mainstreamed through the work in the European Commission’s head quarters in Brussels. It also looks specifically at one of the Commission’s partner countries, Uganda, in order to assess the implementation.

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Conflict prevention in EU external action

The study is aimed to discover what the EU is doing and whether mainstreaming is positive or negative in terms of conflict prevention. Of the wide range of issues in which the EU is involved, this study identified seven thematic areas on which to focus:

  • disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), including child soldiers
  • small arms and light weapons (SALW)
  • security sector reform (SSR)
  • political dialogue, including good governance, elections and civil society consultation
  • gender
  • management of natural resources
  • transitional justice.

We examine each of these both generally, with a brief overview of EU policy and activity in that realm, andmore specifically in the context of six country case studies.

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Country case studies:

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