Conflict Prevention: Commission initiative to improve EU's civilian intervention capacities


Brussels, 11 April 2001

Conflict Prevention: Commission initiative to improve EU's civilian intervention capacities

The Commission today adopted a Communication on Conflict Prevention. This document contains a comprehensive review of all the recent initiatives undertaken by the Community to promote peace and stability. The communication proposes a consolidated and realistic approach of the EU to conflict prevention. It recommends a series of concrete proposals in order to gain more from Community actions and programmes with the aim to improve the integration of conflict prevention objectives into the EU's external action.

This communication is a follow-up to the joint report on conflict prevention which had been prepared by the Commission and the High Representative/Secretary General of the Council for the Nice Summit in December 2000. It is the Commission's contribution to the elaboration of the European Programme for Conflict Prevention which is foreseen to be adopted by the European Council at Göteborg next June.

"We are conscious that whilst we are talking" stated Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten "there are ongoing crises in the world. However, we are working in the right direction. The EU can make a real contribution towards the construction of peace and stability in the world. Not only because it is a major actor on the international scene and the worlds largest aid donor, but even more due to the fact that the EU was itself born form a war, and was designed so as to prevent conflicts. The search for peace is one of the founding reasons for the EU's existence. The impact of our policies in this area is however crucially dependent upon a clear political will and a capacity for coherent and well co-ordinated action."

The Commission's Communication pursues four main objectives:

The most efficient instruments to deal with the underlying causes of conflict (such as poverty, social inequality, ethnic and regional tensions, weakness of socio-political structures, exploitation and illicit trades and the competition for natural resources) remain the EU's programmes of aid and co-operation. In view of this and based on a consolidated approach, the Commission proposes a systematic integration of conflict indicators and the objective of prevention into the programming of Community external aid programmes.

Moreover, the Communication puts forward a series of recommendations for specific actions. These are targeted at preventing nascent conflicts from developing in the long term and at improving the capacity of the EU to react in emerging crises situations. These recommendations can be found in the annex to this text.


List of recommendations

The Commission:

Long-term prevention

Short term prevention

International co-operation

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