The EU, Police Reform and Integration Processes: Developing a "New" Approach or "Re-packaging" Old Approaches?

Gemma Collantes-Celador

The EU's involvement in security sector reform (SSR) initiatives as part of post-conflict peacebuilding/statebuilding processes began late compared with other international organizations (UN, NATO, OSCE). It was an approach based on a weak policy setting in the form of two documents on SSR (the 2005 Council concept and the 2006 Commission concept) in need of amalgamation to convey a robust message on behalf of the EU as a whole. It was a policy setting very much reliant on 'learning-by-doing' if we take into account that the first European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) mission was launched on the 1st January 2003 - the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM) - well before the two mentioned documents were published. EUPM was not an SSR mission but still addressed one of the components of the SSR sector. Many other missions have followed since then, civilian and military, gradually consolidating and strengthening the EU as an actor in this very important sector for the long-lasting success of post-conflict peacebuilding/statebuilding processes. Against this background, what this paper is interested in understanding is what the EU can add that other actors have not yet provided (from OSCE, NATO, UN to even individual EU Member States). Emphasis will be placed on the framing of SSR issues within the enlargement process in the Western Balkans, mainly through Chapters 23 and 24 (with Bosnia as a case study), and whether this framing provides the 'added value' that SSR-related missions by other organizations have missed in their operations in Bosnia (and the Western Balkans more generally), or even the EU in its SSR operations in countries with no accession future.

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