27 October 2017 | EW | News

The EU, peacebuilding and conflict resolution: lessons, obstacles and opportunities

The Europe and the World Theme presents the 2nd edition of the ACCESS Europe Practitioners Series on the EU and conflicts both in its territory but also its neighbourhood. Three lectures by renowned academics and experienced practitioners are lined up. 

In 2012, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union (EU) because of its role at helping to transform “most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace” (Norwegian Nobel Committee, 2012). Despite this, long-standing conflicts especially in its so-called neighbourhood persist (i.e. Israel/Palestine, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, South Caucasus), resolved conflicts are at risk of escalation (i.e. Northern Ireland) and others, although non-violent, remain unresolved (i.e. Cyprus).

Although the EU has played a crucial role in bringing conflict resolution in Northern Ireland, the vote to leave the EU and BREXIT risk putting peace in jeopardy. Moreover, the EU failed to use its member conditionality as leverage to resolve the conflict in Cyprus, which joined the EU as a divided island in 2004. Finally, although the EU adopted state-building initiatives in Palestine as a way of bringing peace and security through the creation of two states living side by side, the conflict still persists.     

What has the EU role been in all these conflicts? What tools, policies and mechanisms has the EU deployed in order to address them? What lessons can we draw from the EU’s involvement and how effective has the EU been in addressing them? Is there something distinctive in the EU’s approach to peacebuilding and conflict resolution? These are the guiding questions of this lecture series. Invited speakers will include renowned academics and experienced practitioners both from the EU foreign policy field as well as from civil society.

 

1. The EU and state-building in Palestine: EU policies and Palestinian perceptions

Speakers:

H. E. Ambassador Rawan Sulaiman, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the Netherlands.
Mr. Thomas Seiler, Desk Officer ‘occupied Palestinian territory’, European External Action Service.
Date: 5 December, 11.00-13.00 Location: UvA Library, C. C0.07 (Doelenzaal). Registration required!

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2. The role of the EU in the Syrian conflict: in quest of relevance 

Speakers:

Dr. Anis Nacrour, Former Head of the EU Delegation to Syria.
Dr. Rim Tourkmani, Senior Research Fellow, Syria conflict research programme, LSE; President and Founder of Madani.
Date: 7 December, 11.00-13.00 Location: UvA Roeterseiland campus, room REC C10.20

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3. The EU and conflict resolution: Insights from Northern Ireland and Cyprus

Speakers:

Ms. Bronagh Hinds, Senior Associate with DemocraShe, Founder of Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform and Co-Funder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition.
Dr. George Kyris, Lecturer and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Birmingham. 
Date: 12 December, 11.00-13.00 Location: Vrije Universiteit, main building, room HG-09A32 

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Convener: Dimitris Bouris, ACCESS EUROPE affiliate to the Europe and the World theme.