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The European Union: time to further peace and justice

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The EU has become increasingly engaged in peace processes, which is welcome. This engagement has often been through the European Union Special Representatives (EUSRs), and had tended to be ad hoc. This brief argues that the External Action Service (EAS) should address the role the EU could and should play in peace processes early. It is not a role that should develop organically anymore; it is time for strategic decision-making. Ten years on, the review of the Gothenburg programme on conflict prevention has been shelved, and the direction of the so-called ‘horizontal’ issues –like peace mediation –in the EAS are still under consideration. This presents an ideal opportunity to assess what EU diplomats should be contributing to peace processes, and making the necessary support available. After all, interventions of this kind affect not only the EU’s external action and its intended beneficiaries, but also the Union’s identity on the world stage.
(Photo credit: EEAS, Flickr)