Medinilla, A., Herrero Cangas, A., Deneckere, M. 2016. 'Living apart together': EU development cooperation and humanitarian aid in situations of fragility and protracted crisis. (Discussion Paper 206). Maastricht: ECDPM.
The complexity of today’s crisis situations brings humanitarian and development actors more and more on each other’s turf. Protracted crises require longer humanitarian interventions, including activities such as basic service delivery, livelihood support and social protection. At the same time, development cooperation is increasingly framed by a ‘societal’ resilience narrative, be it in the Sustainable Development Goals or in the EU’s ambitions to address the root causes of vulnerability, fragility and conflict.
In recent years, the EU has seen an unprecedented migration and refugee crisis in the wider EU neighbourhood. The humanitarian emergency and EU response that has ensued has accelerated a forced convergence between humanitarian and development actors. The former focus on providing short-term assistance, while the latter – influenced by the EU’s security policy – seeks to address the root causes of migration, through short-term interventions, hoping for quick results.
The EU response to this crisis also illustrated the link between internal and external policies of the EU. It is unclear how this link will be addressed by the institutions, and whether they will adopt a humanitarian or a development approach – also within the European Union’s territory.
Photo: Humanitarian aid in Pakistan. Credits: DVIDSHUB via Flickr.