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Academic Panel 1

Academic Panel 1


Title: The EU’s Integrated Approach to Crisis Response: Learning from NATO, UN and OSCE

Abstract: While the EU implements a unique version of comprehensiveness to fit its sui generis setup, there are important similarities with other international organisations’ evolving approaches to crisis response. A comparative analysis of the main security institutions’ structures, procedures and resources to respond to conflicts and crises may therefore allow for the identification of common challenges and the distillation of best practices to improve the EU’s “integrated approach”. This paper aims to do just that. It will present the headquarters’ approach to crisis response of NATO, the UN and the OSCE in order to place a more detailed analysis of the EU’s integrated approach into a broader perspective and tease out lessons to optimize the European Union’s crisis response machinery to improve efficiency and impact on the ground while maintaining horizontal, system-wide coherence.

Author: Steven Blockmans, The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)


Title: Competing Logics of Local Stability: EU Crisis Management in Mitrovica

Abstract: This paper analyses local dynamics in the EU’s crisis management in Mitrovica in Kosovo. The main argument is that the EU’s role in crisis management is mediated by a number of local dynamics including locals’ perceptions of the EU and local dynamics of practices and networks. The findings from Mitrovica call for a critical reexamination of some of the major approaches to the EU’s role as actor in international affairs. This includes ideas of the EU as normative power or civilian power using conditionality to bring about change. Instead, building on the insight of the ‘local turn’ in conflict studies (McGinty and Richmond), the current paper argues that we need to consider locally anchored sources of social action to understand how the EU’s support of stabilisation efforts and reforms can operate. It argues, however, that the local turn underestimates the role of meso-level intersubjectively shared ideational structures – institutional logics – that inform local actors actions and daily practices. First, the paper outlines the prevalent approaches to the EU’s role as a normative power and transformational in the EU’s neighbourhood. Second, it briefly outlines the context of the EU’s involvement in the post-conflict situation in Kosovo more broadly and in Mitrovica more specifically. Third, in the empirical part, the results of surveys of the locals’ perceptions of the EU in North and South Mitrovica are presented. Fourth, local practices and logics in boundary-setting and boundary-crossing are discussed. In the conclusion, theoretical implications for the study of the EU’s role in crisis management and in external affairs more broadly are discussed.

Authors: Jozef Bátora, Comenius University, Bratislava and Webster Vienna Private University, Sonja Stojanović Gajić, Belgrade Centar for Security Policy (BCSS), Florian Qehaja Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS), Kari M. Osland, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).


Title: “Long Day’s Journey into Night” – the EULEX mission in Kosovo

Abstract: The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is EU’s largest Common Security and Defence Policy mission. It is also the only mission where the EU holds an executive mandate, directly implementing policies on behalf of a host state. In this article, we look at the implementation and perceptions of EULEX. In the spirit of the practice turn, our interest is in understanding how those most directly responsible for the execution of the EULEX mandate (e.g., judges and prosecutors) and those directly affected by its outcomes (i.e., the local population) perceive the implementation of an EU executive mission. We contend that while the EU is uniquely positioned to address Kosovo’s rule of law problems, its sui generis character and competing objectives in the region present other, EU-specific challenges. These become particularly pronounced when mounting an executive statebuilding mission, where the clash between the political objectives and the legal mandate is more consequential. The mission, while trying to implement its technical/legal mandate, is circumscribed by political realities not just of Kosovo, but also of the EU, resulting in the intention–implementation gap. This tension between the legal and the political is in turn picked up in local perceptions of the mission, contributing to the implementation–perception gap. We argue that political interference in EULEX’s legal work comes in two forms: direct and ingrained. Direct interference in EULEX judiciary can best be seen in corruption scandals, a concern that the EU could have managed through swift and decisive action. The ingrained interference, on the other hand, presents a more fundamental challenge for the rule of law. It can be seen in the fact that rule of law is intertwined with other EU objectives for the region, objectives that were deemed to be more important to the EU than an independent judiciary by both EULEX staff and local actors. Such broad political considerations, which are more pronounced in regions where the principal has strong interests of their own, make it impossible for an executive rule of law missions to live up to the ideals it is promoting.

Authors: Mateja Peter, University of St. Andrews, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Kari M. Osland, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).


Title: The Quest for Coherence in EU Crisis Management: The Case of South Ossetia

Abstract: The 2008 Russo-Georgian war and the sudden eruption of the violence in Nagorno Karabakh frozen conflict zone on April 1, 2016 reminded everybody that contrary to wide-spread beliefs, the “frozen” conflicts in the South Caucasus in fact are not `frozen` and have unusual escalating patterns. In response to the escalations of the conflicts in the South Caucasus the EU expanded its presence in the South Caucasus via introducing new crisis management instruments in the region. However, the EU was unable to use the variety of its crisis management tools in a coherent manner. The paper aims to demonstrate that the incoherence of EU crisis management in the South Caucasus is undermined by the overlap of the mandates of EU institutional agents. The casual relationship between the mandate overlaps and incoherence is analysed in the prism of bureaucratic politics which reviews EU supranational institutions as multiple bureaucratic organizations. The paper shows that due to the absence of formal coordination mechanisms the overlap of institutional mandates have contributed to incoherent crisis decision making process in South Ossetia.

Author: Irena Mnatsakanyan, Sapienza University of Rome