Role of Civil Society


First Project

In autumn 2005, EPLO joined the ‘Role of Civil Society in European Crisis Management (RoCS)’ project prepared by the Civil Society Conflict Prevention Network (KATU) and the Crisis Management Initiative as their input to the Finnish EU Presidency in 2006. RoCS received financial as well as political support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research also gave its support to the project through their researcher, Catriona Gourlay, who acted as a consultant for the final report entitled Partners Apart: Enhancing Cooperation between Civil Society and EU Civilian Crisis Management in the Framework of ESDP. (Click here to download the report.)

The overall objective of the RoCS project was to promote increased understanding and awareness among EU Member States and ESDP decision-makers on the impact which civil society can have on promoting a human security-based approach. Its aim was to create coherence between public and NGO sector approaches to civilian crisis management and to propose concrete methodologies and practices for a more holistic approach to conflicts. In addition, its purpose was to develop concrete recommendations for a more effective use of the existing NGO expertise in civilian crisis management and to create synergies between strategies and operational activities.

Click here to download the report of the final conference on ‘Enhancing Co-operation between Civil Society and EU Civilian Crisis Management’ which took place in Helsinki on 27-28 September 2006.

Click here to download the set of recommendations on ‘Enhancing Co-operation with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Framework of EU Civilian Crisis Management and Conflict Prevention’ which were endorsed by the EU’s Political and Security Committee (PSC) on 23 November 2006.

Second Project

The ‘Partners in conflict prevention and crisis management: EU and NGO co-operation – RoCS II’ project was designed to follow up from and build on the results of RoCS I. It was implemented by EPLO together with the Crisis Management Initiative and the Bertelsmann Foundation. It received political and financial support from the German Presidency of the EU. RoCS II was intended to broaden the notion of co-operation between EU state actors and European NGOs beyond ESDP actions to long-term conflict prevention. Its goal was to improve the implementation and delivery of EU conflict prevention activities in conflict-affected countries by enhancing co-operation between EU governmental actors and European NGOs and their partners involved in conflict prevention in fragile states. It put a special focus on two key areas: security sector reform (SSR), including disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), and transitional justice.

The final conference on the theme ‘Partners in Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management: EU and NGO Co-operation’ took place on 20-21 June 2007 in Berlin. Click here to download the report of the conference which was organised by the German Presidency of the EU, EPLO, the Crisis Management Initiative and the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

RoCS Conference (April 2008)

Following the successful RoCS conferences under the Finnish and German EU presidencies, the Slovenian Presidency of the EU approached EPLO with the idea of continuing this process by organising a further conference. The idea was to combine the issues of EU-NGO co-operation with a thematic focus, namely children affected by armed conflict (CAAC), which was one of the  priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. The conference was also intended to provide a forum for discussions between participants from conflict-affected countries and EU officials, representatives of EU Member States and NGOs.

The conference on the theme ‘Increasing the impact on the Ground – EU-NGO Co-operation in the Thematic Field of Children Affected by Armed Conflict’ took place on 17-18 April 2008 in Ljubljana. Click here to download the report of the conference which was organised by EPLO and the Center for European Perspective on behalf of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU.

Click here to download a short presentation of the RoCS projects.