A matter of balance: the European Union as a mediator in Yemen

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Series Details Vol.24, No.4, December 2015, p509-524
Publication Date December 2015
ISSN 0966-2839
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The mediation efforts of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Yemen started with the uprising in 2011 which led to the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference in 2014. This article examines the EU's understanding of mediation vis-à-vis its practice. The case of Yemen lends itself to trace EU mediation capabilities from the implementation of the “Concept on Strengthening Mediation and Dialogue Capacities” to a more systematic approach because the Mediation Support Team (MST) of the European External Action Service took office in 2011. Building on an analytical framework of mediation as a tool of EU foreign policy, this article demonstrates how EU mediation presents itself along a political and a technical dimension. The collaboration of the MST and the EU Delegation personnel in Yemen fostered an increase in mediation awareness. However, it could not develop its full potential as the UN Special Advisor sidelined the EU and other members of the Group of Ten Ambassadors through his proactive approach. Despite those difficulties of standing up to established actors in the field, this study argues that EU mediation is about balancing its political and technical dimension. For now, the political seems to outweigh the craft of mediation in the case of Yemen.

Source Link http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09662839.2015.1027766
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