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Motion: New impetus is needed for civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace

Veröffentlicht von: Webmaster am 17. Juni 2009 22:20:14 +01:00 (15438 Aufrufe)

The motion "Zivile Krisenprävention und Friedensförderung brauchen einen neuen Schub" was translated. Here you can read the English version:

German Bundestag    Printed Paper 16/13392

16th electoral term    17. 06. 2009

Motion

tabled by the Members of the Bundestag Winfried Nachtwei, Kerstin Müller, Ute Koczy, Dr Uschi Eid, Marieluise Beck, Volker Beck, Alexander Bonde, Kai Gehring, Thilo Hoppe, Jerzy Montag, Omid Nouripour, Claudia Roth, Manuel Sarrazin, Rainder Steenblock, Silke Stokar von Neuforn, Jürgen Trittin, Josef Philip Winkler, Wolfgang Wieland and the ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS parliamentary group

New impetus is needed for civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace

The Bundestag is requested to adopt the following motion:

I. The German Bundestag notes:

1. The Federal Government has failed to continue the process begun in 1998 of building and reinforcing an infrastructure for civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace. Despite public commitments to a policy of crisis prevention and "networked security", words have not been followed by any substantial deeds. In practice, the imbalance between civilian and military capabilities has been further exacerbated. The civilian pillar remains the major weak link in international efforts to achieve peace, including in German foreign policy. It is not least the Bundeswehr's service personnel who have to compensate for deficits and who suffer as a result. They have to remain on deployments abroad for longer and, in addition, are increasingly having tasks passed on to them from the police and from civilian actors.

The willingness to invest in an efficient infrastructure for civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace must be revived. To this end, a change of course is needed. The Federal Government's military-security strategy is based on the idea of an army of conscripts with 250,000 military personnel, 100,000 civilian employees and armaments projects costing billions - which are more rooted in industrial policy than in security policy. The wrong priorities are being set and resources wasted. The defence budget, at €31.2bn, has now reached record levels, making it the sixth-largest armaments budget in the world. Indeed, in terms of armaments exports, Germany is beaten only by the USA and Russia, putting it in third place worldwide. By exporting armaments to crisis-affected regions such as India, Pakistan and the states of the Middle East, the Federal Government is underpinning the spiral of violence and the arms race. This is at odds with a policy giving priority to civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace.

2.    Civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace aim to prevent violence and peacefully tackle and resolve conflicts. As well as tackling the causes of conflict, civilian crisis prevention in its narrowest sense aims to prevent the escalation of conflicts or violence in the long and short term, to halt violent conflicts and to allow post-conflict peace-building. The priority given to civilian crisis prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building (hereinafter referred to as "civilian crisis prevention") in German foreign and security policy is rooted in the "peace mandate" anchored in the Basic Law, along with the experiences of crisis escalation and violent conflict in the Balkans and in Africa, particularly since the 1990s. These crises created a necessity for new approaches and instruments in civilian crisis prevention, going beyond traditional diplomacy and integration and development policy. Thus, from 1998 onwards, new instruments, capabilities and concepts were created during the time in office of the SPD-Green coalition government. From 1999 onwards, in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy, the EU began to build up civilian crisis-management capabilities.

3.    Strengthening civilian crisis prevention and its capabilities and capacities is today more necessary than ever. This is demonstrated for example by the sobering experiences with multinational engagement and peace missions in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. Today, the scope of UN-led and UN-mandated missions is much greater than ever before. At the same time, they are experiencing a crisis in terms of effectiveness and acceptance; and the willingness of states to contribute to international peacekeeping and accept their responsibility to protect is diminishing. We need a culture of civilian crisis prevention in order, amongst other things, to effectively implement the responsibility to protect those people who are wholly vulnerable to the gravest of human rights violations. Such engagements and missions are notorious for the discrepancies which often exist between the diplomatic, civilian and police capabilities, capacities and efforts on the one hand and the military ones on the other.

4.    Until a few years ago, Germany, together with the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland, was a pioneer in the creation of civilian crisis-prevention infrastructure. Landmarks in these efforts, which have gained international esteem, include: the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), the Civil Peace Service (ZFD), the crisis-prevention approach in development cooperation, the German Institute for Human Rights, the promotion of civil-society projects through the "zivik" programme, the expansion of training for international police missions, the German Foundation for Peace Research and the Action Plan on "Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace-Building" produced in 2004. The peace practitioners involved, whether they are civilians or in uniform, deserve our gratitude and respect.

5.    In the coalition agreement which they signed in 2005, the CDU/CSU and the SPD committed themselves to implementing the "Civilian Crisis Prevention" Action Plan. Since then, progress has been made, with the boosting of resources for crisis prevention and the Civil Peace Service, as well as the introduction of the "Secondment Act" - providing social security for civilian experts seconded by the Federal Government to participate in international crisis-prevention missions. Beyond this, however, the Federal Government's activities in the field of civilian crisis prevention have been far from adequate to cope with increased needs and have also fallen short of the level of efforts undertaken by countries like Switzerland, the UK, Sweden and Canada, and now even the USA. Whilst the Bundeswehr is still in the midst of a transformation process equipping it for crisis-management operations, civilian crisis-prevention policy has more or less come to a standstill. This was obvious from the second implementation review of the Federal Government's Action Plan in May 2008 and the lack of interest with which it was met. In view of the costs, problems with effectiveness and victims of German engagement in crisis-affected areas, neglect of civilian crisis prevention is short sighted and irresponsible.

6.    The second implementation review, like its predecessors, presents an impressive variety of areas of action and measures, particularly at multilateral level. It shows how complex civilian crisis prevention is. Yet is also has significant weaknesses: the focus is on post-conflict assistance and post-conflict peace-building, whilst scant attention is paid to "primary prevention". The concept of crisis prevention is used indiscriminately to encompass all military deployments carried out by the Federal Republic, as well as the EU Battle Groups and the Nato Response Force. Civilian-military cooperation is described in a one-sided fashion, from a purely military perspective. The real problems which exist in cooperation between the different ministries and in achieving coherence are massively played down. The lack of progress in implementing civilian crisis prevention is not discussed. Civilian headline goals - which would allow systematic strengthening of civilian capabilities - are not set. The report fails to set priorities; yet these are very much necessary in view of the 161 recommendations.

7.    Intensive inter-cultural communication and the establishment of structures for cultural-policy dialogue at international level are needed. The second implementation review rightly stresses the importance of foreign cultural and educational policy in civilian crisis prevention. Ongoing cultural exchange, targeted promotion of inter-cultural understanding and liberal and modern education systems can help to combat negative stereotypes and develop the skills needed for peaceful conflict resolution. At present, however, no effective and coherent strategy for inter-cultural dialogue exists in the field of crisis prevention. This would also require a sound evaluation of the contribution made by inter-cultural dialogue to conflict management - especially concerning dialogue with the Islamic world; something which has not happened so far, however.

8. A new impetus is needed in civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace. This should involve the following: conceptual clarification and development, interministerial early warning, planning and management structures, a culture of cooperation between state and civil-society actors, reinforcement of key capacities by the use of civilian headline goals, adequate allocation of resources, international initiatives and, not least, a communication strategy to overcome the structural lack of visibility of civilian crisis prevention. Attention must be paid in this context to the impact of wars on gender relations, and the importance of gender equality in organising post-war societies. Only in this way will Germany be able to make appropriate contributions to crisis prevention and the promotion of peace, in line with the increasing peace and security-policy challenges, in the framework of the UN, EU, OSCE and NATO, along with regional collective-security systems such as the African Union.

II. The German Bundestag calls on the Federal Government

1.    to consistently give the highest political priority to expanding civilian capacities for crisis prevention and the promotion of peace; to consistently anchor the principle of civilian conflict management as its guiding principle and ensure that it is mainstreamed into all relevant policy areas; and to rigorously implement the strategies outlined in the Action Plan on "Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace-Building";

2.      to conceptually develop the idea of civilian crisis prevention and, to this end:

a)      to commission an independent evaluation of the implementation of the "Civil Crisis Prevention" Action Plan, which has now been in application for a period of five years;

b)  to develop an integrated peace and security strategy founded on the primacy of civilian measures, overcoming the current lack of clarity, with the "Civilian Crisis Prevention" Action Plan existing alongside the White Paper on German Security Policy;

c)  to draft individual interministerial concepts on the key issues of primary prevention, state building, promotion of the rule of law and security sector reform - encompassing demilitarisation, demobilisation and reintegration;

d)      to revive the Action Plan's "do-no-harm approach", encouraging decision-makers to engage in self-reflection and avoid their own policies having unintended negative consequences;

e) to actively seek to ensure within the EU and UN frameworks that the "responsibility to protect" principle is defined more clearly and effectively implemented, with the goal of strengthening civilian crisis prevention and post-conflict peace-building;

3. to establish interministerial early-warning, planning and leadership structures in the field of crisis prevention and peace consolidation in order to promote coherence and effectiveness and, to this end:

a)      to establish an integrated interministerial early-warning system for crises, with the involvement of civil-society actors;

b)   to reinforce the Interministerial Steering Group for Civilian Crisis Prevention by giving it decision-making powers, independent resources and enhanced staff resources and to allocate responsibility for civilian crisis prevention to a minister of state at the Federal Foreign Office;

c) to establish interministerial task forces for significant German engagements in crises in regions of complex conflict (such as Afghanistan) or on central cross-sectoral issues (e.g. reconstruction, stabilisation, state building) and to take into account the experience of other countries (e.g. Canada, the Netherlands and the USA);

d)      to work towards systematic integration of cultural-policy, educational-policy and media-policy instruments in the framework of a foreign and development policy aimed at crisis prevention;

e)    to expand financing instruments and to establish special funds for specific issues or countries, modelled on the British Conflict Prevention Pools, with additional funding and administered collectively by the ministries;

f)       to seek to ensure that interministerial guidelines and transparent procedures for the administration of funds exist and are applied;

g)    to develop uniform criteria for evaluation and analysis of the effectiveness of civilian and military engagement in crisis-affected areas, as well as to establish an independent evaluation mechanism and present to the public in an effective manner evaluations of measures implemented so far in the area of crisis prevention;

h) to establish an interministerial database on peace missions and engagement in crisis-affected areas, to be managed collectively by the ministries and allowing both practitioners in the ministries and scientific institutions to input information. This "institutional memory" is intended to enhance analysis of engagement in crisis-affected areas and allow continual "lessons-learned processes";

4. to combat excessive tendencies in the ministries to operate in a compartmentalised and non-joined up fashion; to promote a culture of cooperation between the ministries and between state actors and civil-society, military and civilian actors and, to this end:

a) to expand the interministerial and inter-actor components and phases in the training and preparation for participation in peace operations of diplomats, officers and service personnel, police officers, specialist peace practitioners and development experts, in order to dismantle unnecessary barriers to communication and cooperation;

b)      to boost the role of the Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention, enhance its capacity for action and allocate independent financing to it;

c)    to help to ensure that the relationship between civilian and military measures both at national and international level and the real differences and problems - but also opportunities for cooperation - which exist between military and civilian actors are discussed more with the partners and taken into account in planning engagement in crisis-affected areas;

5. to systematically reinforce central capabilities and capacities in civilian crisis prevention and, to this end:

a) to prioritise the boosting of local peace-building efforts, as well as promoting local reconciliation processes and expanding the existing structures and resources for the support of NGOs and civil-society initiatives on the ground, and involve these organisations and initiatives in planning, implementing and evaluating post-conflict peace-building projects from the initial stages onwards;

b)             to complement the existing risk-analysis procedures with opportunity-analysis procedures, in order to identify potential for peace and peace processes in conflict regions, which can serve as a starting point for the promotion of peace;

c)    to define national civilian headline goals for key capabilities (e.g. experts on the rule of law and on administration, police trainers and advisors, specialist peace practitioners), using the EU's Civilian Headline Goal 2010 and its implementation strategy as a model; these headline goals should be in line with the needs of the European Union and the United Nations and should take into account lessons learned and best practice from other states, NGOs and research institutions;

d)   to work, in coordination with the European partners, towards establishing a permanent civilian infrastructure and an EU-compatible staffing pool of experts on establishing police, judicial and administrative structures and building economic and civil-society structures - which can be deployed at short notice;

e)    to expand the "Civil Peace Service in Development Cooperation" programme into an instrument for effective promotion of peace at regional level; to increase the number of Civil Peace Service specialists on missions to 500; and to additionally take appropriate measures to professionalise and enhance the profile of the Civil Peace Service and to strengthen supporting organisations;

f)       to further boost the resources allocated to the "zivik" conflict management programme organised by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations for individual civil-society projects and, above all, to ensure that these resources are allocated on a regular basis;

g)    to improve conditions for seconding civilian personnel by removing obstacles to secondment, ensuring high quality training, enhancing the attractiveness of such secondments and providing reliable support both during the secondment and on return. To this end also to develop the ZIF into a sending organisation, and expand and enhance its capacities in the fields of training, recruitment/secondment and analysis/lessons learned. In particular to allocate ZIF increased responsibility for civilian personnel and provide it with greater staffing and financial resources to support civilian personnel and for its public-relations work;

6. to work at European and global level towards effective mechanisms for coordinated and joined-up activities in the field of civilian crisis prevention, conflict management and post-conflict peace-building and

a) to seek to ensure that the EU gives priority to expanding its civilian capacities and that its military capabilities are developed in such a way as to allow it to support the United Nations and its regional organisations;

b)      to seek to ensure the establishment at European level of a coordination centre for civilian crisis-prevention measures;

c)    to vigorously promote and support the ongoing dialogue with non-state actors on training, recruitment and planning of EU missions, as agreed during the EU Presidency and set out in the Action Plan;

d) to give priority to reinforcing the United Nations' crisis-prevention capabilities and provide adequate support in terms of resources and capabilities to the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), the UN Peacebuilding Commission, the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the proposed United Nations Emergency Peace Service to Prevent Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (UNEPS);

7.    to establish a national action plan and a gender monitoring centre to implement UN Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on fostering participation of women, reinforcing their rights and providing them with protection; and to ensure that post-conflict societies are organised on the basis of gender equality, which is decisive for peace to be maintained on a sustainable basis;

8.    to substantially boost budgetary resources for peace and conflict research, in order, amongst other things, to close conceptual gaps in the area of crisis-prevention policy, and identify and analyse opportunities and actors for peace. In addition, to work towards a clear increase in the resources available for regional studies at universities and academic institutions. The German Foundation for Peace Research, which was established using federal funds and will celebrate its ten-year anniversary in 2010, must finally be allocated the minimum capital (€50m) earmarked for it, allowing it to carry out its mandate, which includes providing support for promising young people;

9. to develop an effective strategy for inter-cultural dialogue in crisis prevention, and to present a medium-term overall concept and

a)    to present a review of target groups, topical focal points, strategies and guiding objectives, as well as presenting selection criteria for projects in the framework of the special European programme on European-Islamic cultural dialogue; and, on this basis, to enhance dialogue and make it more strategic;

b)   to ensure via the Interministerial Steering Group for Civilian Crisis Prevention that cultural factors are taken into account more strongly and consistently in all ministries in the field of crisis prevention;

10. to combat the insufficient attention paid to civilian crisis prevention and it lack of visibility by developing and implementing a communication strategy to better publicise civilian crisis prevention as it is practised, along with its instruments, impacts and opportunities, thus helping to achieve peace policy "literacy", which is long overdue;

11. to underpin the goal of networked security policy and the Bundestag's share of responsibility amongst other things by ensuring that, when motions are tabled by the Federal Government on Bundeswehr deployments abroad in future, the central civilian and police tasks, measures and budgetary estimates are also presented to Parliament for a vote.

Berlin, 17 June 2009

Renate Künast, Fritz Kuhn and Parliamentary Group

Explanatory memorandum

1. As early as 2000, the German Bundestag adopted a resolution on the subject of "fostering the capacity to act in the field of civilian crisis prevention, civilian conflict management and post-conflict peace-building" (Bundestag Printed Paper 14/3862). The Action Plan on "Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace-Building", drafted with the involvement of ten ministries, along with specialised civil-society representatives, and adopted by the Federal Government in 2004, is the central basic document for the Federal Government's crisis-prevention policies and is highly acclaimed internationally.

Through publication of the Action Plan, the Federal Government established a comprehensive interministerial framework for action in the field of civilian crisis management and announced its intention of further enhancing coherence and capacity to act in this field. The Action Plan sets out the following strategic leverage points:

 

a)           the establishment of stable state structures (rule of law, democracy, human rights and security)

b)           the creation of the potential for peace within civil society, the fields of the media, culture and education, as well as

c)           the safeguarding of opportunities for people

 

The Action Plan aims "to further develop existing institutions and crisis-prevention instruments and create new ones, and use them as part of a coherent strategy to enhance the ability of the Federal Government to act in this field" (cf. pg 1 of Action Plan). It represents a new departure in that it emphasises the primacy of civilian instruments and anchors civilian crisis prevention as a cross-sectoral task in the Federal Government's overall policymaking. The goal of the Action Plan is to ensure dovetailing of the various capabilities and instruments, in particular in the areas of foreign, security and development policy, in order to prevent the outbreak of violent conflicts in crisis-affected areas and to stabilise such regions in the aftermath of violent conflicts.

The Action Plan contains 161 recommendations, covering all of the main policy areas of relevance for crisis-prevention based foreign policy. The principle of communication and coordination between state and non-state actors anchored in the Action Plan is also unique. In this way, the Action Plan is a reaction to the realisation that coherent action by state and non-state actors is vital for successful and sustainable implementation of strategies and measures for crisis prevention. An impressive number of individual initiatives and measures to reinforce crisis-prevention structures have now been launched. Yet the Federal Government is still a long way from meeting the standards and goals contained in the Action Plan's standards and goals.

2.    Five years after the adoption of the Action Plan, it has still not been rigorously applied. The Federal Government regularly stresses the importance it places on civilian crisis prevention as a "priority cross-sectoral task" and the necessity of interministerial cooperation. Yet the Federal Government has not defined concrete steps which it intends to take to improve and make more coherent crisis-prevention policy. In view of the increasingly complex challenges which exist for peace policy, new impetus is urgently needed, both to enhance coordination of the Federal Government's crisis-prevention policy and to improve instruments, capabilities and strategies. An expansion of the civilian infrastructure is long overdue; both in Germany and at European level this will require willingness for greater cooperation between different ministries and different countries, further organisational changes, additional staffing and financial resources and decisive political management. Unless new momentum is created for the expansion of the civilian infrastructure, civilian crisis-prevention risks being relegated to a niche existence and marginalised.

3.    The Federal Government has committed itself to continued implementation of the "Civilian Crisis Prevention" Action Plan, increases in staffing and financial resources and reduction of deficits in infrastructure. The Interministerial Steering Group for Civilian Crisis Prevention was established to improve coordination of crisis-prevention policy and make it more efficient. This Steering Group consists of officers responsible for civilian crisis prevention in the federal ministries concerned and is supported by a very small team of staff. So far, however, the Steering Group has served merely as a forum for information sharing and coordination. It lacks decision-making powers. Increased coherence and efficiency in the Federal Government's crisis-prevention policy cannot be achieved unless this Steering Group is placed on a new institutional footing and reinforced.

4. In order to mainstream the Federal Government's civilian crisis-prevention policy in all areas and at all levels, further steps to establish coherence and efficiency are overdue. The amount of budgetary resources allocated to crisis prevention has now been increased and the Secondment Act adopted by the Federal Government for the secondment abroad of civilian personnel is an important step. The increase in resources allocated to the Civil Peace Service and the support given to "zivik" is also to be welcomed. Yet, all the experts agree that these steps are far from sufficient to improve and enhance the coherence of the Federal Government's crisis-prevention policy. The "pooling of available financial and human resources" referred to in the coalition agreement entered into by the Federal Government in 2005 has not so far taken place. The successful "Provincial Development Fund" in north-eastern Afghanistan remained an exception. The intention of establishing a crisis-prevention fund administered collectively by the ministries, modelled on the British "Global Conflict Prevention Pool", is still being impeded by individual interests being pursued within the ministries. Neither the Interministerial Steering Group nor the Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Protection are involved in funding allocation.

 

5.    The Interministerial Steering Group, as an important intersection between the Federal Government and civil society, has established an Advisory Board to provide it with expert support and advice. Yet this Advisory Board is unable to use its potential or to set its own priorities. This represents an unnecessary waste of an opportunity to improve and coordinate early identification of conflicts at risk of escalation. In its reaction to the second implementation review, the Advisory Board points out that, although communication between state and non-state actors has been improved, there has been a lack of coordination. The Advisory Board believes that this is due to the Steering Group's lack of ability to assert itself and its lack of operational capabilities. The recommendations made by the Advisory Board in its report on its activities have also so far failed to be followed.

6.    The Action Plan stipulates that the Federal Government should report to Parliament and the public every two years on progress in implementing the Action Plan. The Federal Government has now presented its second implementation review on the "Civilian Crisis Prevention" Action Plan. Neither the first nor the second implementation review received the necessary attention from the public and from Parliament. There is no professional communications strategy to make civilian crisis prevention and its successes visible and noticeable for the public and for Parliament. Like the first implementation review, the second review lists an impressively large range of activities in the field of crisis prevention. Yet there is a lack of an overarching approach, bringing together the various measures and individual initiatives and dovetailing them into a vision. And the key questions as to the effectiveness of civilian crisis-prevention measures and the need for capabilities and resources are almost completely ignored in the report. The lack of development in civilian capabilities in the framework of German engagement in crisis-affected areas is not mentioned at all. The report simply notes that the national crisis-prevention structures have been successful and that individual structures had been further developed and consolidated. The report fails to state what concrete steps the Federal Government is intending to take towards joint planning or joint budgetary resources, however. In addition, the idea of prevention is given noticeably less attention in the second implementation review. In contrast to the Action Plan, the review does not mention the "do-no-harm approach", which encourages decision-makers to avoid their own policies having unintended negative consequences. In other words, the review ignores the important principle of states or decision-makers paying attention to and avoiding any consequences or impacts of their own policies which would promote or prolong conflict. At the same time, the use of military means and capacities is included under the heading of prevention, without any kind of distinction being drawn. The sweeping assertion by the Federal Government that the concept of "civilian crisis prevention" basically covers any military engagement in crisis-torn areas, without distinctions being made, must be firmly rejected.

7.    By anchoring the primacy of civilian measures in the Action Plan, the Federal Government has recognised that civilian instruments have priority in crisis prevention. There is now a growing realisation at both national and international level that it is far less costly to invest in civilian measures to prevent violence than it is to intervene subsequently in situations where violence is escalating. However, there remains a considerable gap between civilian and military capabilities at both national and international level. Deficits in personnel and financial resources for civilian crisis prevention not only impede early, effective intervention to prevent violence or eliminate structural causes of conflict, but also contribute to the armed forces being forced to compensate for deficits, with operations continuing for years without any lasting effect. Within the framework of collective peacekeeping, operations by the armed forces to contain and prevent violence can be necessary. However, the armed forces cannot make a substantial contribution to civilian crisis prevention, only keep a window open for political solutions. In complex stabilisation missions, cooperation between civilian, police and military actors is essential. This requires close collaboration and coordination between the various measures and actors. In this context, however, it is vital that civilian actors and measures, particularly those in the field of development cooperation and those by non-governmental organisations, retain their independence and do not become agents of military engagement in crisis-affected areas. The comparative advantages of the various actors must be preserved and guaranteed within the framework of this coordination and cooperation.

8.    In recent years, various national and international approaches have assigned greater significance to civilian crisis prevention and conflict management. Significant developments have taken place within the framework of the European Union, in particular. The EU's civilian headline goals have made an important contribution to this. As early as June 2001, the European Union called in its Göteborg programme for a full range of measures in the field of civilian crisis prevention, conflict management and post-conflict peace-building. The EU has since become an important civilian actor in international crisis management within the framework of the United Nations. As many as 17 of the 23 missions the EU has carried out to date have been civilian missions. With the establishment of the Instrument for Stability at the end of 2007, the EU has taken an important step towards gaining more civilian crisis management capabilities. However, it is still a long way from being able to draw on a civilian infrastructure with a real capacity to act. There is an urgent need for new incentives and impetus for this. In order to enhance cooperation between the relevant actors and further develop the EU's civilian strategies and capacities, a European peace agency needs to be established, as well as a European peace service to promote peace-building ‘from the ground up'. The outcomes and recommendations of the RoCS (Role of Civil Society in European Civilian Crisis Management) process, launched on the initiative of Finnish groups in 2005, form a good basis for enhanced cooperation between state and non-state actors. However, the dialogue with civil-society organisations must be further institutionalised, and to this end a mechanism for regular dialogue must be created. Impetus from the Federal Government is necessary in this context.

9. Amid ever fiercer competition for the scarce good that is ‘attention', civilian crisis prevention is particularly difficult to ‘sell' in the media. It is quieter, slower, more process-oriented and complex. Moreover, it often takes place behind the scenes. Its effects and successes are less visible and difficult to point to: an inferno which was prevented is not newsworthy, whereas the fire brigade tackling a blaze is. Given the ‘natural' appeal of military matters, and of violence and bad news in general, a special effort must be made to ensure that civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of peace are visible. Achieving this is of vital significance in ensuring that civilian crisis prevention enjoys popular and political support. As new instruments for civilian crisis prevention have been created since 1998, new approaches to peace reporting have also emerged. The Peace Counts project was exemplary in this respect; it informed a wider audience about the activities of ‘peace-makers' worldwide. To date, however, the Federal Government has not made sufficient effort to communicate the complex policy field of civilian crisis prevention in an accessible manner.

 


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