The desk study report State-building in the Shadow of War: EU Capabilities in the Fields of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan discusses the capabilities of the European Union (EU) in Afghanistan in the fields of conflict prevention and peacebuilding from 2001 until 2016. Despite fifteen years of international intervention – including EU efforts – the political, security, and economic future of Afghanistan is increasingly uncertain, with important consequences for the civilian population. While the early years after the 2001 US-led intervention were relatively stable, especially since 2005 Afghanistan has seen escalating violence, a growing insurgency, predatory militia behaviour, a deterioration of Kabul's reach in outlying districts (International Crisis Group 2014), and, recently, increased migration flows. Never since 2001 has the Taliban controlled as much territory as it does today, while at the same time the UN (2016) reported that the first half of 2016 showed a record high level of civilian casualties. Generally, state presence is weak in rural areas, and various hybrid arrangements of warlords, militias, and insurgents fill the security and governance vacuum at the local level. According to Martin et al (2016: 18), this ‘political or conflict context' can create serious challenges for the EU's civilian capabilities in the fields of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

Read the full report here.

Guatemala/ Honduras

This desk study reviews the literature on EU programmes that supported security and justice reform in Guatemala and Honduras, focusing on two programs: the programme in support of the security sector (PASS) in Honduras and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The former was an EU led programme, almost entirely funded by the EU, the latter is a hybrid UN organisation, co-funded by the EU.

The first section of the report provides some background information about the political context in the Central American isthmus, and in particular in Guatemala and Honduras. The next section briefly reflects on the development of the relationships between the Central American region and the EU. The longest section of the report discusses the two programmes separately. Each case starts with a brief introduction and some background information, moves on with a presentation of the development of the programme over time, and finalizes with a discussion of different assessments and evaluations of the intervention.

While a comparison between the two cases on the specific role played by the EU is not possible, the two cases do provide interesting and important lessons about the room of maneuver for justice and security sector reform in what can be considered adverse contexts.

Read the full report here.


The report EU peacebuilding capabilities in Kosovo after 2008: an analysis of EULEX and the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue discusses selected EU policies in the field of conflict prevention and conflict management in Kosovo. The EU's role in Kosovo has increased over the past decade and the EU took a leading role after Kosovo declared itself independent in 2008. The EU relations with Kosovo are multi-facetted. Kosovo hosts the largest CDSP mission, and the amount of financial and technical cooperation with the country are among the highest in the world. While the EU has made massive investments in Kosovo, the EU intervention and policies have had to adapt to particular characteristics of the conflict history of the country and the international presence there. The conflict about Kosovo's status has never been settled, leading to ongoing contestations about the statehood and governance of Kosovo.

Read the full report here.