EPLO The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) and its Member Organisations have participated in and contributed to relevant civil society engagement provisions of the JAES, such as the EU Implementation Team and the Joint Expert Group for the P&S Partnership as well as the Joint AU-EU Task Force. In light of the upcoming drafting of the second action plan for the P&S Partnership, EPLO would like to put forward recommendations to address what it perceives as the main weaknesses of the Partnership.
While recognizing the more structural obstacles the JAES is facing, this statement focuses explicitly on the P&S Partnership and is aimed at informing the discussion on the second action plan which will be held at meetings of the EU Implementation Team, the Joint Expert Group and other preparatory meetings before the Africa EU Summit in November. Although the P&S Partnership has been labeled the most successful of the eight JAES Partnerships, the potential of the P&S Partnership to improve African capacity to strengthen peacebuilding activities and respond to conflict and insecurity on the continent has yet to be realized.
EPLO believes that this is mainly due to three weaknesses within the P&S Partnership.
Firstly, EPLO believes that within the first action plan, the contribution of civil society to conflict prevention, crisis management and peacebuilding has not been accommodated adequately. Civil society in Europe and in Africa is willing to support the implementation of the Partnership and to strengthen existing African peace and security mechanisms and policies but has not been provided with sufficient room and resources to do so.
Secondly, the P&S Partnership has over-emphasized the military aspect of peace and security at the expense of civilian conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities. Since improved military and security capabilities do not necessarily lead to a more peaceful climate and sustainable development, this imbalance should be addressed by ensuring more resources are allocated to the civilian aspects of the of the P&S Partnership.
Thirdly, the first action plan failed to underpin the P&S Partnership with an understanding of the root causes and drivers of conflict by basing activities on systematic conflict analysis that enables a better understanding of the profile, actors and dynamics of a conflict and incorporates the expertise of local civil society.
The second action plan is an opportunity to address these weaknesses and to align the activities of the P&S Partnership with the expected outcomes. For this purpose, EPLO has composed a list of recommendations that derive from the experience and insights of EPLO Member Organisations and which have been formulated in close consultation with their counter parts and affiliates in Africa.
All of EPLO’s recommendations for the P&S partnership can be found here.
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