At beyond peace, we believe policy work is based on field experience and on lessons learnt while working with others. We see it as our role to share with the community of practitioners, and also to share findings, concerns and updates with donors and decision-makers. We are highlighting hereafter some recent events were we were able to disseminate some of our field-based evidence and reflections.
From 26-28 February 2018, we conducted in Brussels a high-level debrief to share our lessons from CAR.
After working for 6 months with the EUTM CAR on improving the FACA behaviour through training on IHL and prevention of sexual violence, we gathered a number of learnings on how EU CSDP missions could be improved. We identified that these missions lack selection standards for their staff; there was no EU pre-deployment training (training is left to nations, as is the case with peacekeepers, with the shortcomings we are familiar with); there was no gender adviser although this is an olbigation in CSDP policy; there were no women in command positions. There was no context analysis conducted, which means that the training is pretty much theoretical and not adapted to the context – with as a result a limited impact. We shared these observations with the EEAS Deputy Secretary General, with the MPCC Chief of Staff, with the NATO Ambassadors and with civil society through the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO). We recommend that the MPCC adopts the following reforms for CSDP missions:
- include a gender dimension from the design phase, including through the deployment of a genad
- include training on IHL and PSV as a standard component of EU CSDP training missions
- prepare deploying staff through training on the context, the political and cultural dimension, the legal environment and the gender dimension
- monitor closely these aspects from Brussels level.
Our findings and recommendations will be shared in a workshop titled ‘Gender, Security and Justice in the EU Foreign and Security Policy. Tangible Transformations or Contentious Continuities?’ which will take place on the 18th and 19th of October 2018 in the National University of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland and is organised by the UCD School of Politics and International Relations.