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The European Union and Peacebuilding


This chapter looks at the European Union’s peacebuilding approach. The chapter argues that the EU has moved from a hyperliberal idealist approach based on conditionality, social learning, and passive enforcement to building peace and reconstructing states to a more bottom-up principled pragmatism centered around supporting states’ and societies’ resilience and integrating the EU’s capabilities and instruments to leverage greater and above all more coherent impact. To trace this journey, this chapter will briefly recount what the EU’s approach to peacebuilding looked like in the 1990s and 2000s, notably in the Union’s surrounding regions, and what it is now transforming into, largely as a result of the changed strategic context both in Europe and in the wider world.