Thematic reports on best practice and lessons learned based on input from consultation and additional researches were completed on each of the five cross cutting themes. The main thrust of the reports was on capturing the practice perspective in relation to those five topics. Rather than providing a comprehensive review, thematic reports conducted detailed investigations of selected number of issues that can bring about relevant insights to the project's Whole of Society conceptual framing.

Multi-stakeholder coherence

This report, Strengthening the EU Multi-stakeholder coherence in peacebuilding and conflict prevention: examples of good practices, authored by the ESSEC IRENE investigates the issue of coherence at two levels: within the EU institutions by focusing on the role of the EU Delegation in advancing multi-stakeholder approach to EU peacebuilding and conflict prevention activities; and by examining the EU's engagement with civil society. The examples of good practices demonstrate the importance of information sharing, coordination, capacity for accurate conflict analysis, strong grounding among the local actors and the ability to take advantage of the EU's versatility as an actor. The report highlights a privileged position of the EU Delegations in term of their connections to the local and other external actor, access to information, burden sharing, coordination and effective resource management. These advantages remain underutilised, particularly with regards to better connecting local communities, including local civil society, to a variety of EU institutions, and in responding to local demands.

Read the full report here.

Local ownership

The report Local Ownership Challenges in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention elaborates local ownership in terms of the EU's capacity to take account and leverage the density and complexity of the local society, using the examples of the private sector and religious organisations as two significant local groups which are missing from a Whole of Society approach to peacebuilding and conflict prevention. These groups illustrate neglected sites of local agency and provide a lens for identifying indigenous practices and networked relationships which are part of the development of positive social capital in response to conflict prevention and peacebuilding outcomes which are effective and sustainable in the local context. The report's main finding is that the diversity and the fluid nature of the local context pose a challenge to fixed parameters and programming with large-scale objectives and benchmarks. Hence existing approaches to local ownership fail to capture – or sometimes even acknowledge – not only the deep-seated difficulties of aligning with local society, but also ignore its creative possibilities.

See the full report here.


Based on the Community of Practice on gender, desk research and online interviews, the ECP elaborated the report: The Role of the EU and Other Third Parties in Promoting the Gender, Peace and Security Agenda in Mediation and Dialogue Processes. This report analyses lessons learned and good practices regarding EU policy on gender and multi-track diplomacy. It reflects on various practical experiences by the EU and other third parties in the area of gender and multi-track diplomacy in two specific spheres. Firstly, the gender dimension in the EU's role as a mediator/facilitator. It analyses issues such as challenges and dilemmas of mediation from a gender perspective; complementarity and coordination in multi-track diplomacy from a gender perspective, and the availability of gender-responsive mediators. Secondly, the report focuses on the EU's actions via other types of engagement (promoting, supporting, leveraging and funding), such as: political support for women's involvement in peace processes; financial and technical support to empower women and strengthen local women's organizations; and financial support for capabilities in the area of gender and third-party mediation. The paper also puts forward several recommendations for the EU's capabilities in this area. The report has found some relevant advances and good practices of EU's integration of a gender perspective in multi-track diplomacy and in broader EU peacebuilding policy, while also a lack of systematic approach that places gender at the centre of its interventions, alongside its other commitments.

Civil-military synergies

Based on the research and engagement with key stakeholders, this report, Civil-Military Synergy at Operational Level in EU External Action, produced by GPPAC is part of a series of reports that investigate cases of best practices and lessons learned related to several cross-cutting themes that the project focuses on. It reflects on the challenges found in trying to enhance civil-military synergies in EU action, and identifies opportunities based on the experiences of practitioners on good and bad practices at the operational level. It also puts forward several key recommendations for effective civil-military synergies in EU external missions, contributing to current debates on this topic, which will require further analysis and problem-solving beyond the life of this project.

The majority of EU missions are taking place in contexts where the civil-military distinction is increasingly collapsing and especially in contexts where local actors are fulfilling both roles. Having a sharper definition of who is military and who is civil is thought to be inhibiting flexibility to respond to the ad-hoc opportunities for synergies on the ground level. ‘Civil-military synergy' is not used in an everyday operational vocabulary. From a practice perspective, what is found to be more important is setting everyday smaller targets and corresponding steps and action points to enable situations of effective civil-military interfaces. The paper finds that achieving some degree of coherence, coordination and cooperation and moderating tensions between civilian and military actors and their activities are more practical and realistic goals.

See the full report here.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

The report ICTs & EU civilian peacebuilding: Reflections on good practices, opportunities and challenges reflects on the challenges that the EU faces in operationalising the uses of ICTs for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. First, the report provides some examples of the recognition that innovative forms of engagement supported by new technologies can enhance peacebuilding and conflict prevention initiatives. However, ICTs rarely do so their own, and work most effectively as a complement to broader peacebuilding processes, acting alongside or in support of other types of activities. Second, the smaller scale of existing levels of peacetech innovation through small NGOs, individuals or other organisations is in contrast to the larger scale at which the EU engages in peacebuilding and conflict prevention activities, in terms of funding, impacts and targets. Finally, the paper identifies institutional barriers and opportunities for the adoption of ICTs in the EU's peacebuilding and conflict prevention operations.

See the full report here.