ESSEC IRENE, Institute for Research and Education on Negotiation, provides an in-depth, downloadable report on the EU and its status regarding multi-stakeholder peace-building
By Prof. Linda Benraïs, PhD, and Julie Simon
“Better co-operation with local stakeholders has been one of the priorities of the EU since the Gothenburg Programme of 2001 (Council of the EU, 2001a), based on the assumption that EU intervention should be in line with the local needs, and legitimated by the participation of local actors to guarantee sustainability.
If the principle of this has emerged, its application remains problematic. Efforts have been made to enhance local ownership, through better co-operation with local NGOS, local authorities and civil society actors, but reciprocal mistrust and lack of co-ordination are still slowing the practical implementation of such principles. Co-operation has to be further deepened through the integration of local stakeholders into the design and decision-making process of peace building and conflict prevention, including the private sector.
Moreover, the strengthening of local capabilities in the context of peace processes raises the question of the independent status of these actors (EPLO, 2007). As the EU Delegations have been empowered by the Lisbon Treaty to represent an institutional cross-road, the issue of coordination both at the EU-level and with the local stakeholders could be addressed through an in-depth study.
The multi-stakeholder approach while not conceptualised, has been an incentive for EU institutions to work towards more comprehensiveness in the field of conflict prevention and peace building. In practice, it has allowed a more coherent approach in managing conflict prevention and peace building interventions, through sustainable, comprehensive and innovative civilian means. But this scoping study also shows that the quest for coherence has added a layer of complexity. In terms of achieving more positive impacts and addressing the remaining challenges of multi-stakeholder coherence, it might be interesting to study if an official recognition by the EU of the multi-stakeholder approach should be encouraged to enhance the EU effectiveness on the ground. In this regard, special attention might be paid to the position of local stakeholders and the private sector…”
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