10 Oct 2019

Crisis Responders

Comparing Policy Approaches of the EU, the UN, NATO and OSCE with Experiences in the Field

Loes Debuysere / Steven Blockmans

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The EU aims at being a prominent global crisis responder but its Member States act also through the UN, NATO, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to achieve both short-term stabilization by military and/or civilian means, as well as longer term conflict prevention and transformation. By comparing the policy approaches of these four multilateral organizations to conflicts and crises, this article shows how the broad principle of comprehensiveness has been developed to fit different institutional logics, thus leading to divergences in approach. Distilling findings from empirical research conducted in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Mali and Ukraine, this article synthesizes lessons about varying levels of the EU’s and the other organizations’ conflict sensitivity, effective multilateralism, value-based approach and application of the principle of local ownership in theatre.

Reprinted from “European Foreign Affairs Review”, Volume 24, no.3 (2019): 243–264, with permission of Kluwer Law International. Permission to use this content must be obtained from the copyright owner.