What Role(s) for the European Union in National Dialogues? Lessons Learned from Yemen

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Series Details Volume 2018, Number 5
Publication Date November 2018
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National dialogues aim to reconstruct a legitimate institutional framework after a conflict through broader representativeness as well as a new social contract between the state and the society. The European Union (EU) can play various roles in such processes. However, the involvement of an external actor may undermine the national ownership and credibility of national dialogues. Hence, the first aim of this paper is to analyse how the EU can support national dialogues without undermining their national ownership and legitimacy.

To answer that question, this paper develops a new analytical grid conceptualising the various roles that the EU can play in national dialogues. This analytical grid, the Analysis of National Dialogues External Support model – or ANDES model - shows that the EU has various entry points to support national dialogues and that those vary from one national dialogue to the other. It is then only through lessons learned that the EU may find the right balance between pushing for liberal reforms and respecting the national ownership of the national dialogue.

In order to illustrate the ANDES model by a concrete example, the Yemeni National Dialogue Conference (NDC) is analysed. While the Yemeni NDC was considered at the beginning as highly promising, this paper’s second objective is to analyse why this national dialogue failed. The paper finds that various elements in the process-design, the decision-making management and the operationalisation of the Yemeni national dialogue were not appropriate for the country’s situation, reflecting a general lack of social cohesion of the Yemeni society during the national dialogue and undermining the success of the process.

Source Link https://www.coleurope.eu/system/files_force/research-paper/edp-5-2018_kestemont.pdf
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Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=520402