EU crisis response in Ukraine and Iraq: the ‘EUNPACK’ project

 

Launching a new Horizon 2020 project entitled EUNPACK at CEPS on 20 April, panellists debated how far EU crisis mechanisms have been developed to enable responses that are sensitive to the political and social context on the ground. EUNPACK takes an integral approach to the crisis cycle – from conflict prevention and crisis management to post-conflict peace building. It will consider the EU’s intentions and use of the tools at its disposal (from financial and technical assistance to the launch of military missions); reception on the ground and perceptions in host countries. The panel looked at two ‘operational theatres’: one on the outer periphery of the Union (Ukraine) and one in the extended neighbourhood (Iraq). Arguably, the EU’s more recent and comprehensive approach in Ukraine has fared better than the crisis response in the more distant and crowded theatre of Iraq.

A broader analysis, encompassing Kosovo, Mali and Afghanistan will later explore local agencies and perceptions in target countries, without losing sight of the EU’s institutions and their expectations and ambitions. Taken together, the EUNPACK study should allow for the identification of more general lessons and the formulation of recommendations on how to improve crisis management institutions and policies in the EU’s comprehensive approach to conflict-affected countries and regions.

This project is led by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), and includes CEPS, alongside 11 other universities and think tanks from the EU and countries under study.