Ten years on: Enhancing EU mediation and dialogue capacities – Report on the community of practice meeting on peace mediation

2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the 2009 ‘Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities’ (‘EU mediation concept’). This document called for the EU to develop a systematic approach towards mediation and strengthen capacities for mediation support to more effectively and efficiently contribute to the prevention and resolution of violent conflict. Ten years later, a renewed interest within the broader international community in mediation and conflict prevention can be observed. In this context, the Mediation and Dialogue Team of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Directorate for Integrated Approach to Security and Peace (ISP.2) convened two meetings. The first day of the meeting convened officials from EU institutions and member states and the second day was organised with a wider Community of Practice.

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    This Community of Practice meeting was organised by a consortium that implements the EEAS (European External Action Service) Framework Contract for Conflict Prevention and Mediation Support. This Consortium brings together the long-standing experience, expertise and logistical capacities of six leading European organisations including mediatEUr, Swisspeace, ESSEC IRENE, ECDPM, CITpax and Search for Common Ground.

    The Consortium’s ultimate aim is to support the EU’s conflict prevention and mediation efforts in the world in line with the Lisbon Treaty provisions; and to enable the EEAS to systematically use conflict prevention and mediation as efficient and cost-effective tools of first response to emerging or on-going crises, thereby directly supporting the implementation of relevant policy commitments, such as the 2009 EU Concept on Mediation and Dialogue.

    The overall objective of this Framework Contract is to provide the EEAS Integrated Approach for Security and Peace Division with external expertise, technical and logistical assistance for conflict prevention, peace mediation and dialogue support that is high quality, tailored to its needs, timely and in line with international good practice.

    The geographic scope of this contract is global as Consortium Partners collectively have the capacity to ensure the broadest geographic reach, including Central America; Latin America; Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Central, Eastern Europe, and South-Eastern Europe (the Balkans); South and South-East Asia.

    The Framework Contract supports target individuals, groups and entities currently or potentially involved in conflict prevention and mediation efforts across the EEAS and other EU institutions such as within the EU headquarters, EU delegations and CSDP missions.

    This report was written by Matthias Deneckere (ECDPM) with inputs from Antje Herrberg (EEAS), Miguel Varela (mediatEUr), Owen Frazer (Center for Security Studies ETH Zürich) and Catherine Turner (University of Durham)

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