Making policies work


External event



The European Union and the Comprehensive Approach: The Case of Crises in Africa

9 July 2015

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On invitation only.

Africa appears as a continent of contrasts: while some countries experience high levels of growth, other regions are torn up by crises, in which the African Union and sub-regional organisations are increasingly trying to play a mediation and stabilisation role, by strengthening their political and military instruments.

The complex causes of these crises, their often hybrid nature and the interconnections between security and development dynamics requires the adoption of an approach involving all participants, taking into account all facets of the crises and armed conflicts.

The European Union, through its different components and tools, is able to mobilise all its crisis management capabilities in a consistent and complementary way. The Comprehensive Approach was adopted as a guiding principle of the EU’s foreign policy by the European Council in December 2013. The EU concept is thus moving closer to the Integrated Approach of the United Nations, which covers every sector connected to security, stabilisation, reconstruction, governance and development. As a result, the EU is implementing its economic, political and sometimes military instruments in a combined fashion, both in the Horn of Africa and in the Sahel region.

However, to what extent does the EU’s proposed Comprehensive Approach in Africa constitute a truly operative course of action, as its implementation proves complex due to the multiplicity of challenges, players and interests involved? And are the EU’s current instruments adapted to the task at hand?

This seminar aims to analyse the EU’s Comprehensive Approach in light of its actions in the Horn of Africa (1st panel) and the Sahel (2nd panel), in order to make an evaluation of its current record and assess its future prospects (3rd panel).

The seminar is co-organised by the Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale (IHEDN) and Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations – with the kind support of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC).

Peace, security and resilienceAfrica