EC Support to Conflict Prevention and Peace Building
Before 2001, conflict prevention was considered essentially in terms of political and military activities. The consciousness of the international community of the need for an integrated approach treating the root causes of conflict grew gradually, based on a number of successes and failures. Concerning the Balkans, for instance, the Commission considered that the integrated Community strategy, based on a transparent and clearly structured process providing concrete benefits in return for commitment to peace and regional stability, would eventually lead to long-expected stabilisation. El Salvador and Guatemala were also considered good examples of such an integrated approach. A reconfiguration of ideas has taken place in the development policy of the EU since the mid-1990s; greater attention has been paid in development cooperation to civilian crisis prevention and to the socio-economic and political root causes of conflicts. Guidelines for tackling aspects of conflict prevention have appeared in a number of documents, initially focusing on African countries. This paved the way for the Commission’s ambitious 2001 Communication on Conflict Prevention, which represented the first comprehensive Commission strategy in this field.
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