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Situations of Fragility: Challenges for an European Response Strategy

Situações de fragilidadedade desafios a uma estratégia de resposta europeia

December 2007

Magalhães Ferreira, P. and F. Faria. 2007. Situations of Fragility: Challenges for an European Response Strategy / Situações de fragilidade desafios a uma estratégia de resposta europeia. ECDPM and IEEI.

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This publication is in English and Portuguese.

The European Union (EU) has a wide range of instruments at its disposal to address the problems and needs of fragile situations. These range from political instruments to crisis management instruments, from Justice and Home Affairs instruments to military capabilities, from trade cooperation to humanitarian aid and development. The objective of this study is to suggest ways to bring these instruments and the existing policy commitments together into an integrated and comprehensive framework to address fragility and promote structural stability. It is not to formulate a new policy on fragile situations and difficult environments.

The report recommends ways to make better use of, and adapt existing policies and instruments and improve the process of assessment and policy analysis, prioritisation and strategy design, programming, implementation and dialogue. The objective is to contribute to an improved EU response strategy that can be supported by partners, especially regarding the security/development/governance nexus of EU external policy and action.

The study is deliberately focused on political and strategic issues, although some references are made to more technical aspects of financial and aid instruments. The conclusions and recommendations propose a quite ambitious EU strategy, particularly in light of the challenges of implementation, and particularly as far as well-informed and participative analysis of each context, combined use of assessment tools, coordination, policy coherence and Whole-of-Government (WoG) approaches are concerned. Capacity issues and operational and political constraints are an almost constant refrain, and some proposals to address these are made. 

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Security and ResilienceEuropean responses to violent conflict and crisisPapersResearchAid effectivenessEU PresidenciesEuropean Union (EU)Fragile statesHuman rightsHumanitarian aidOfficial Development Assistance (ODA)AfricaEurope

External authors

Fernanda Faria

Patrícia Magalhães Ferreira