The first WOSCAP objective is to assess past and ongoing conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives of the EU and its partners. The assessment is centred on the EU's capabilities regarding multi-track diplomacy, security sector reform and governance reform, including a comparative analysis. This will be based on a series of studies, which will be peer-reviewed, challenged and compared by the Community of Practice that will be established by the project.
Against the backdrop of the cross-cutting themes, the capabilities assessment will be based on case studies and will focus on three types of interventions which typify the full spectrum of conflict prevention and peacebuilding instruments available to the EU: multi-track diplomacy, security sector and governance reforms. These intervention ‘clusters' provide a snapshot of the broader spectrum of instruments available to the EU.
Multi-Track Diplomacy is understood in this project as a holistic and whole-of-society approach to international peacebuilding support. It draws attention to the web of interconnected activities, individuals, institutions that cooperate to prevent or resolve conflicts peacefully, primarily through (direct or mediated) dialogue and negotiation. The term ‘multi-track' refers to interventions targeting multiple levels of society and decision-making simultaneously and in an inter-connected (or at best coordinated) manner. This cluster will critically examine the ways in which the EU commitment to multi-track approaches can be turned into effective practice.
Security sector reform
The security sector plays a significant role in the success or failure of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. As such, efforts to reform, transform, evolve or develop the security sector receive significant attention from international actors. These security sector reform (SSR) efforts are, in essence, about improving civilmilitary relations, aiming to ensure that the public perceives security forces as ‘protectors' and not ‘predators'. Public perceptions of the security sector are therefore key indicators of perceived legitimacy and governance. A key challenge for SSR interventions is how they relate to wider society and a broader systems change in a given context.
Therefore, by studying the intersection of civilian engagement and training in SSR efforts, the WOSCAP project will assess to what extent the EU relates to its OECD principles in practice. A key aspect of this is the EU's gender approach to SSR.
The EU deploys governance reforms as a key tool to project its ‘soft power' in interventions. Strengthening the capacity of state and civil society institutions is among the central acts in EU interventions that focus at rebuilding core governance institutions. From a whole-of-society perspective, governance reform must provide effective mechanisms to address state- society relations which underpin those institutions, providing their legitimacy and ultimately sustainability. This cluster will therefore assess how the existing EU instruments and practices have shaped governance interventions through the role of key actors involved. This ranges from the design and implementation of various governance reforms, the practices and procedures behind negotiating governance reforms, including the funding aspects, and the responsibilities and accountability mechanisms as they apply to each set of relationships.