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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NGO contributions to the civilian aspects of ESDP

A recent policy paper by the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) comments on the contributions of NGOs to the EU Civilian Headline Goal 2008.

The EU Action Plan for Civilian Aspects of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) welcomes information exchange with CSOs. Especially NGOs experience in conflict resolution and early warning capacity is valued by the EU.

CSOs activity intersect with ESDP priorities, such as promotion of community based policing, rebuilding of judicial capacities, strengthening of independent media, gender mainstreaming or reconciliation. Furthermore CSOs are engaged in various sectors of interest for the ESDP including Security Sector Reform, Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, child protection, human security, promotion of democracy to name a few.

Although positive developments regarding the consultation of NGOs/CSOs by the appropriate Council bodies are noted by the EPLO, more can be done to use the organisational experience and recruitment networks of CSOs.

According to the paper NGOs are regularly engaged in mission planning, fact-finding, recruiting and training personnel, managing and implementing field projects and evaluating them. “There is a store of lessons learned and best practices for the EU to tap into” the paper points out.

Story by Martin Behrens

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