Tackling Today’s Complex Crises: EU-US Cooperation in Civilian Crisis Management

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Series Details No.4, August 2009
Publication Date August 2009
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The complex challenges posed by stabilization and reconstruction undertakings today require an unprecedented degree of coordination among both civilian and military tools of conflict response. Harnessing civilian resources has grown increasingly important to filling the gap between military intervention and sustainable peace. Policymakers within the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) continue to adapt their respective crisis management concepts and approaches to meet these challenges more successfully. In light of the rising attention paid to this policy area, EU-U.S. cooperation in Civilian Crisis Management (CCM) has been deemed by one official interviewed as 'an idea whose time has come'. A joint Work Plan recently signed by EU and U.S. officials and the U.S. contribution to the civilian mission of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo), the first case of U.S. participation in an ESDP mission, embarks on a new chapter in bilateral security relations. The partnership has been facilitated by the growing EU expertise in the field and the creation of the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) in the U.S. Department of State. Pledging to work together in areas from dialogue to personnel training to country analysis, both actors seek to improve their concepts and approaches and aim to partner in efforts on the ground. While cooperation has come underway in recent months, attempts in formalizing relations endured several years of efforts by policymakers.

This paper asks to what extent the policy conceptions and approaches of the EU and U.S. in the area of non-military conflict response converge, why EU-U.S. cooperation in CCM has come so cautiously and how it is likely to develop in the future. I argue that the EU’s ‘comprehensive approach’ and the U.S.’s ‘whole of government’ approach are near equals in the integrated responses they aim to deliver. However, the development of EU-U.S. cooperation in this policy area has been confronted by the limitations of the larger transatlantic security relationship vis-à-vis the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). A warming of attitudes toward a bilateral security relationship will likely continue, but looking to the U.S. contribution to EULEX Kosovo as an indicator, I would argue that the relationship will face institutional complications and continue to struggle to strike a balance alongside the role of NATO in the task of confronting today’s complex crises.

Source Link https://www.coleurope.eu/system/files_force/research-paper/edp_4_2009_serar.pdf
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