Print version

EU support to African security architecture: funding and training components


This paper analyses the EU’s support to the emerging African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), focusing on financial and training aspects. During the last few years, African countries have multiplied their efforts at consolidating regional integration and developing common mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. At the same time, EU-Africa relations have significantly improved and led to strengthened political dialogue and enhanced cooperation. Nevertheless, the full implementation of the EU-Africa partnership in peace and security is still hampered by a series of contradictions and significant constraints in the EU’s approach, shortcomings in its coordination with the international community, and huge deficiencies on the African side. The paper looks at the rationale, structures and principles of the emerging African Peace and Security Architecture: it provides an overview of its establishment, analyses its structures, norms, capacities and procedures, and highlights its critical weaknesses. These elements constitute the parameters within which the appropriateness and effectiveness of the EU’s approach in its support to the APSA may be assessed. The EU’s approach is firstly investigated in its institutional and financial aspects, disclosing a rather complex and fragmented framework of interaction, characterised by various instances of dialogue, a broad array of actors involved, different cooperation agreements and corresponding financial instruments, as well as geographic compartmentalisation. Particular attention is given to the EU's main tool to specifically support African peace and security efforts, the African Peace Facility (APF), the purpose for which it was designed and its actual use, the evaluation of the actions financed so far, and the cooperation and overlap with other resources within the EU. Perspectives for improvement in the next phase of the APF are identified, including better coordination with other African partners, especially in the G8 and UN framework. The paper then considers the EU’s training support to APSA, both for headquarters and field personnel. This derives from the recognition of the pivotal importance of a sustainable capacity-building process within the AU, which not only requires financial support, but also the transfer of expertise and know-how. The EU could deliver a real added value in this sector, but its actions must be directed towards the appropriate targets, identified through an inclusive needs assessment and heavily relying on African contributions. Possibilities for information sharing, coordination and cooperation with other players that are active in the same field must also be identified and promoted. The paper concludes with policy recommendations, which aim to encourage enhanced EU support to African peace and security through a more realistic, coordinated and forward-looking approach.