Europe is redefining its view on making and building peace

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Series Details 2015
Publication Date 26/02/2015
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Europe is known to prefer a soft approach to crisis management. Diplomacy, sanctions and civilian assistance are the favoured instruments of the European Union and its member states. The return of geopolitics and lessons learned from recent interventions have prompted a rethink of some of the dogmas that have informed European foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The rethink is pointing different actors in different directions and making it increasingly difficult to identify a distinctly European perspective on crisis management.

At the same time, a number of shared characteristics continue to inform the foreign policies of European countries, including a strong belief in the universality of human rights and the value of a comprehensive and people-centred approach to international peace and security. Against this backdrop, European policy makers are struggling to respond adequately to the increasingly complex and multifaceted nature of contemporary violent conflicts. As a result, present-day European perspectives on how to make and build peace contain elements of unity and divisions as well as continuity and change.The Independent High-Level Panel on UN Peace Operations held consultations in Europe 19-20 February. Prior to their meetings, the panel had received a background paper written by senior analyst Louise Riis Andersen on current trends in European thinking on international crisis management and peacebuilding.

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