The European Union's Role in Promoting and Implementing the Responsibility to Protect in Africa: Turning Political Commitments into Effective Action

Item Reference: 
BRIGG 2011/1
Publication Date: 
Publication Place: 
Publication Language: 
College of Europe / UNU-CRIS
Series Title: 
BRIGG Working Papers
Working Paper Type: 

At the 2005 World Summit, an important normative shift occurred in the definition of sovereignty as the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) gained prominence. This paper investigates how the European Union (EU) has promoted the R2P principle at the EU and the international level and to what extent the EU has channeled its support for R2P into concrete action in Africa. The paper shows that while the EU has remained an active supporter of R2P at the international level, this enthusiasm has not been transmitted into its own policies or championed by any EU Member State. The EU has at its disposal a wide range of crisis management tools, yet is still far from applying them through coherent action, let alone under the R2P umbrella. Africa has great potential in developing its own peace and security framework, but this remains a long-term project. In this regard, EU support remains essential through political dialogue, sustainable financing and concrete projects to strengthen the African Peace and Security Architecture.