Centre for European Perspective (CEP), University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Social Sciences) and the Finnish Defence Forces International Center (FINCENT) organised a Balkans IECEU round table discussion of experts on 24 May 2016 at CEP premises in Slovenia.
Project Improving the Effectiveness of Capabilities in EU Conflict Prevention – IECEU aims to identify best practices and lessons learned in CSDP missions and operations as well as to provide a catalogue of best practices, new solutions and approaches, which will be at the end of the project presented to the relevant institutions of the EU, member states, training community and other stakeholders.
As part of the project, research has been conducted on missions and operations in the Balkans, Africa and Middle East/Afghanistan. Study so far consisted of the desk phase and field trips and its objective was to conduct a thorough analysis of the existing CSDP missions and operations, based on the methodological framework established as the first major goal of the project. During field trips, researchers conducted several interviews with the personnel of CSDP missions and operations, representatives of the local authorities, NGOs, academia etc.
The Balkans IECEU round table was organised with the aim of assessing the preliminary findings from two field research trips to two CSDP missions and operations in the Balkans, namely EULEX- Kosovo and Eufor ALTHEA – Bosnia and Herzegovina. Discoveries were further validated and discussed at the closed session with the focus on six capabilities: planning capacity, operational capacity, interoperability, competences, comprehensiveness and technologies as well as success indicators of the mission (internal goal attainment, internal appropriateness, external goal attainment and external appropriateness).
The following experts attended the round table:
– Kurt Bassuener, Senior Associate, Democratization Policy Council, Bosnia and Herzegovina
– Tobias Flessenkemper, Senior Associate Researcher at CIFE – Centre International de Formation Europeenne
– Simone Guerrini, Italian seconded expert and former Operational Officer to Head of Mission, EULEX Kosovo
– David Palmer, ALTHEA, EU operational HQ, Shape
– Ariana Qosaj Mustafa, Programme Director and Senior Researcher at Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development, KIPRED
– Christian Ramet, Political Advisor, European External Action Service, Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability, Operations Division – EULEX KOSOVO Desk.
The afternoon part of the roundtable was open to public and attended by Slovenian representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Armed Forces, Ministry of the Interior and academia. This session focused on the main achievements and failures of Eulex and Althea and whether CSDP is an efficient EU instrument and what lessons learnt can be drawn for future CSDP planning.
The morning session was moderated by Dr Rok Zupančič, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, who is responsible for the IECEU Balkans research, whereas the afternoon part was led by Ivana Boštjančič Pulko, CEP Project Manager and Researcher. Participants presented several perspectives, the mission, local, EEAS and academic standpoint. A very comprehensive discussion report is currently being prepared based on this exchange of views and will complement the findings of the desk study and field research.