Since the beginning of the 2000s, we have witnessed the European Union (EU) becoming increasingly involved in directly supporting peace negotiations in a variety of inter- and intra-state conflicts by taking on the role of a third-party mediator. By introducing the 2009 Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities, the EU has further institutionalised mediation as an incremental component of its Common Foreign and Security Policy’s (CFSP) toolkit. However, the EU’s role as an actor in international mediation, and in particular its effectiveness, are considerably under-researched.
Thanks to the generous funding by the German Foundation for Peace Research (Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung, DSF), Prof. Dr. Arne Niemann and Julian Bergmann will conduct a two-year research project on “A Peacemaker in the Making? The European Union as an Actor in International Mediation” to investigate the EU’s role as mediator in peace negotiations. The research project, which builds upon a previously conducted pilot study, pursues three main objectives. First, we aim to better understand how and in what ways the EU has been involved in international mediation activities. Second, we assess the extent to which the EU constitutes an effective mediator in peace negotiations. Third, we seek to explain different degrees of EU mediator effectiveness.
In addition, an important objective of this project is to use the insights gained from the analytical and explanatory components of the project as a basis for knowledge transfer from science to practice, and to establish a policy dialogue with relevant actors. The insights of our project will be used to identify ‘lessons learnt’ from EU mediation efforts, and to give clear-cut recommendations for the further development of a more systematic approach to mediation with regard to capacity-building and accumulation of expertise. The project runs from February 2015 to January 2017 and is funded through a 100.000€ grant by the German Foundation for Peace Research (Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung, DSF).