The European Union's Political and Development Response to Burundi


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    ‘Fragile states’ are understood to be countries facing latent or protracted conflict (including situations of war), countries emerging from conflict (with major uncertainties as to their future stability) and countries indirectly affected by regional conflicts. Their ‘fragility’ can take different forms. In extreme cases, state structures have disappeared. In other cases, the central state may appear strong (e.g. in terms of military control), but it lacks legitimacy, controls only part of the national territory or fails to deliver even the most basic services (including in developmental terms). The net result is generally a situation of chronic instability, insecurity, violation of human rights, economic and social collapse, high levels of aid dependency and rising levels of absolute poverty.

    Burundi can be characterised as ‘fragile’ based on a number of characteristics. This study attempts to analyse the EU development response towards Burundi, looking particularly into what could be improved in terms of policies and instruments under the new ACP-EU Partnership Agreement. Although this study does look into donors’ approaches and responses in a comparative manner, it is not an evaluation of donors’ response, and as such the analysis provided doesn’t cover all donors’ activities and interventions, but rather the relevant ones in terms of indications on how to improve the impact.

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