Peacebuilding in and beyond the European Union

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction

1.1. The Issue: Peacebuilding in and beyond the European Union[1]

The EU has recently claimed a more prominent position within the global realm of peacebuilding, which Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s Agenda for Peace portrayed as the “comprehensive efforts to identify and support structures which will tend to consolidate peace and advance a sense of confidence and well-being among people” (1992: 61). Since then, the peacebuilding paradigm has expanded to incorporate the norms of sustainable peace and local ownership, which prescribe the need to establish and eliminate the root causes of conflicts through close cooperation with civil society (Recchia, 2007: 7). Following the launch of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), the EU has been able to substantiate its discursive commitment to these principles with an increasingly sophisticated gamut of operational capacities in crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction and stabilisation (Recchia, 2007: 5). While the maturation of its praxes allowed the EU to enter the thus defined peacebuilding space, it was the Union’s unique nature that brought value added to the global peacebuilding project.

An actor sui generis whose inception and subsequent developments embody integrationist aspirations, the EU finds itself in the position to further Boutros-Ghali’s idea of “building bonds of peaceful mutual benefit among nations formerly at war” (1992: 61) through the transcendence of a state-centred peacebuilding model (Richmond et al., 2011: 460). This potential, both self-proclaimed and postulated in the academic circles, is wedded to an interpretation of the EU as an inherently moral actor whose agency lies in a values-inspired philosophy (Richmond et al., 2011: 456-7). At the same time, the EU’s complex institutional architecture pits this supranationality against the parochialism embedded in Member States’ agendas. In certain circumstances, the irreconcilability of narrow national interests – economic, political or security-related – has been noted to engender fundamental disunity and hamper collective action (Armingeon, 1997: 94). Since the Union’s peacebuilding policies are developed under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), where decision-making is intergovernmental and thus likely to remain hostage to the discordance among Member States, one would expect that the EU operates in a rather constrained peacebuilding space (Pohl, 2012: 3).

In the context of the substantive presence of the EU in peacebuilding operations around the world, the conjecture above poses the following puzzle: how and why are the fundamental differences among Member States overcome and translated into common policies? To address this question, the dissertation will employ the warring theoretical paradigms of defensive (neo)realism and social constructivism and will test the EU’s actions against their premises in a carefully selected case study.

The thus set theoretical parameters have generated a research question with a narrower focus: what drives the EU’s peacebuilding actions? The purpose of the dissertation will be to establish whether a temporary alignment of national interests in the sphere of security or the appeal to a supra-Westphalian space of values conditions the possibility of EU Member States acting collectively.[2] Determining the drivers behind EU decision-making in the realm of peacebuilding will not only contribute to the growing academic interest in the Union as a force for post-conflict change, but will also provide insights to the EU’s conduct of foreign affairs more broadly. Hence, this dissertation aspires to reach conclusions of predictive value and with the potential for inducing generalisations.

Its contribution to the literature, therefore, would be to further the academic debate on the EU’s role as a global actor. More particularly, its findings would feed into an under-analysed take on CFSP and ESDP: rarely has study of their inception and development been conducted with reference to the competing paradigms of realism and social constructivism, in a comparative manner. Pohl’s (2012) attempt at doing this, albeit comprehensive and insightful, examines the strengthening of EU military capability, where the high stakes would most likely keep decision-making entrenched in a self-interested, realist-inspired logic. Looking at the civilian dimension of EU foreign policy, on the other hand, would entail a more challenging puzzle and would call into question basic assumptions about states’ impact on foreign policy. An enhanced understanding of the motivations shaping the EU’s peacebuilding choices would also be of practical significance to policymakers.

1.2. Case Study: Police-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina[3]

The international community has recognised police-building as an integral component of the rehabilitation and milieu-shaping processes in conflict-affected societies. This is so not only because politically and ethnically biased police forces tend to exacerbate the animosity causing strife, but also because they are endowed with the potential to forge intra-societal bonds (Collantes-Celador, 2005: 364-367).  Within the ‘democratic policing’ framework advocated by policymakers[4] and academics alike, police structures have the capacity to accommodate and emanate normative prescriptions conducive to sustainable peace, such as democratic principles, commitment to human rights, and local ownership of post-conflict stabilisation processes (Ibid.).

During the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, which pitted Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats, and Bosniaks against each other, the police were indeed complicit in the violations of human rights. By 2005, ten out of the forty-seven war criminals indicted by the International Tribunal at The Hague were affiliated with Bosnia’s police system (Aitchison, 2007: 331). Even after the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) had brought the war to an end, the police continued to reinforce a culture of social exclusion, while failing to deliver security to all citizens (Collantes-Celador, 2008: 233). To halt these peace-compromising trends, the United Nations (UN) stepped in as a representative of the international community and launched the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in 1995. Over the next seven years, the operation re-established, scrutinised and trained the police, and in 2003 passed the baton to the EU, which launched its police mission (EUPM) within the framework of the ESDP (Padurario, 2014: 2). The EUPM’s “authority to monitor, mentor and inspect” (Council of the EU, 2002: 2) and its long-term objective of “establishing sustainable policing arrangements under BiH ownership in accordance with best European and international practice” (Ibid.) were to be overseen and given strategic direction by the Political Security Committee and CIVCOM bodies within the European Council (Ibid.). By the time its last mandate ended in 2012, the EUPM had acquired more prerogatives to complement the originally stated purpose of the operation.

Alongside the enhancement of its police-building capacities, the Union has also progressively strengthened its ‘carrot and stick’ approach in the Balkan state, thus transforming the enlargement policy and integration into effective peacebuilding tools (Juncos, 2012: 58-59). In 2006, EU police-building was effectively linked to the enlargement policy after police reform had been identified as a prerequisite for further progress on the path to membership (Carlyle, 2007: 2). Up until the launch of the EUPM, however, the EU’s presence in BiH had been inadequate and marginal. Both the NATO campaign that eventually ended the ethnic cleansing and the peace negotiations, symbolically held in Ohio, were spearheaded by the States (The Economist, 2005). Thus, it was the Americans who also designed the post-war institutional setup in BiH – a highly decentralised state composed of two entities and based on essentialist notions of ethnicity (McMahon and Western, 2009: 72-73). What emerged from Dayton, therefore, was a fragile, deadlocked political sphere dominated by ethnopolitics. The police were also organised along ethnic lines in a highly decentralised configuration with no structures at the state level and, thus, permeable by narrow political interests (McMahon and Western, 2009: 73; Juncos, 2012: 375). This necessitated more international interventionism embodied by, among others, the Office of the High Representative (OHR) and the Bonn powers, which allowed the High Representative (HR) to make politically controversial actions possible (Recchia, 2007: 9-10).

BiH is an auspicious terrain for analysing the EU’s peacebuilding impulse because the Union has assumed a leadership role in the post-war rehabilitation processes there, especially with respect to policing. Thanks to its geographical proximity, the country is both a source of intensified insecurity and a likely recipient of the EU’s compassion, as it belongs to a perceived European space of values. The focus on police-building accentuates the security/values dichotomy at the heart of this dissertation in a similar manner: the EUPM is both directly linked to security management under the ESDP and accommodative of values in the context of democratic policing. Furthermore, the physical and cultural closeness of the Balkans, a prerequisite for extending the offer of future membership to BiH, enables the EU to combine orthodox peacebuilding devices with the pull of Europe. The merit of analysing this integrated approach lies in the possibility of linking the particularities of EU peacebuilding with its broader foreign agenda.

This dissertation will unfold as follows: Chapter Two will discuss the premises of defensive (neo)realism and social constructivism, as well as EU-related theoretical constructs derived from these respectively materialist and idealist views. The chapter will also elaborate on the methodology used to answer the research question. Chapter Three will test the hypothesis derived from realism: it will look for evidence of influence- and security-maximising behaviour exhibited in the EUPM’s inception and throughout its life. Chapter Four will engage with the constructivist proposition by testing whether peacebuilding actions follow, strategically and consistently, a normative agenda. The final chapter will bridge the findings and determine to what extent the two theoretical prisms shed light on EU peacebuilding.


CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review

2.1. Theoretical Framework
In order to determine why the EU engages in peacebuilding operations beyond its ‘borders,’ the dissertation will draw on the premises of defensive (neo)realism and the social constructivist approach. With the raison d’être of this research being the determination of the factors that motivate EU peacebuilding actions, and not an attempt at assessing their effectiveness, engaging with broader IR theories would constitute a more auspicious research strategy than consulting the rather results-oriented approaches to peacebuilding.[5] Integration theories, however effective in assessing internal to the EU processes, are also rendered inadequate in situations where the Union extends its interests and/or identity ‘abroad’ (Keane, 2006: 40). Furthermore, the generalisability of constructivism and realism, designed to cover a virtually limitless pool of phenomena in the international system, suggests that the EU’s peacebuilding would fit in their scope.

Although the EU cannot be confined within the Westphalia-inspired system of nation-states that IR theory traditionally engages with, working with IR-derived concepts is justified in the context of peacebuilding. Constructivism is particularly forgiving of the EU’s original sin of transcending the much extolled state-centric logic, as the constructivist notions of norms diffusion and identity are themselves decoupled from territoriality (Keane, 2006: 41). Realism, on the other hand, is firmly grounded in a statist rationale. However, given that peacebuilding issues are dealt with at the intergovernmental level, where individual states control decision-making processes, realism also represents an appropriate choice of theoretical framework (Ibid.).

Defensive (Neo)realism

Of all the strands of realism, defensive (neo)realism[6] is the most applicable to the research question in hand. Unlike its offensive counterpart, it posits that “the dominant goal of states is security” (Waltz, 1997: 915), not power, since only security can ultimately guarantee the survival of the state. Indeed, the concern for security is so overpowering that it has the potential to elicit abnormal, in a realist frame, behaviour. It has been argued, for instance, that EU integration and collective decision-making are consequences of the security imperative to put in place safeguards against the overwhelming and potentially threatening US presence in global politics (Art, 2006: 178-80). While Waltz’s seminal work on defensive realism treats cooperation in a broader sense, other authors have further conceptualised security, i.e. the red thread running through his writings, to allow for an analysis of international intervention and peacebuilding strategies. Keane, for instance, has framed the issue as “their security is our security” (2006: 43, original emphasis), suggesting that an appropriate strategy for security-maximising actors might be cooperation that leads to absolute gains. Nevertheless, relative gains are still preferred to absolute gains, and cooperative behaviour, while certainly possible, is construed as a defensive mechanism against threats or the potentiality of such rather than a genuine quest for absolute gains (Waltz, 1997: 916; Walt, 1987: 12-16).

Defensive realism might have shoved power to the peripheries of its thought, but it has been cautious not to downplay the salience of structure. As Waltz points out, “structures shape and shove” (1997: 915), meaning that they exert pressures the response to which determines whether states will be rewarded, or punished. To ensure their security, therefore, states operating in the highly unstable configuration of unipolarity will need to resist its pressures by balancing against the source of overwhelming force (Ibid.). In light of this, realists have proposed that cooperation between European states has been engendered by the preponderance of US aggressive power in the international arena (Hyde-Price, 2004: 105-7). The case of the Western Balkans, however, poses challenges to such a formulation, since US actions in Bosnia are neither aggressive, nor likely to endanger palpably and immediately the security of the EU (Pohl, 2012: 19). What such an overwhelming and monopolising presence can do, however, is diminish the capacity of the EU to influence the outcomes of events there. Starved of such control, the Union would be left vulnerable and with less a comprehensive set of tools to defend itself against security threats. Strömvik’s (2005: 7) balance-of-influence reconceptualisation of Waltz’s well-known balance-of-power formula is informative here: balancing against another actor might be propelled by the need to ensure one’s own relatively higher capacity to impact the unravelling of events in the international realm. According to this interpretation, balancing behaviour might be a strategy employed collectively as a means to enhance (collective) influence vis-à-vis the most influential actor (Ibid.).  Art (2006: 185) has reiterated the de-emphasis on direct physical threats as necessary precursors of balancing behaviour and has reasoned that states often balance against other influential actors to gain influence and autonomy, which, in turn, would reduce insecurity.

Therefore, a realist rationale would underlie the EU’s peacebuilding policies if the desire for enhanced influence vis-à-vis other influential actors and the concern for the security of Member States override any other factor in peacebuilding policymaking. This hypothesis will be henceforth referred to as the realist proposition.

Social Constructivism

Whereas realism is concerned with the instrumental and materialist elements of an international actor’s behaviour, the social constructivist approach in IR emphasises its ideational dimensions. According to Adler (1997: 322), interests are not fixed but are bound to evolve as different actors interact, interpret the material world, and alter their identities in the process. Furthermore, the relations that constitute the world are social constructions imbued with the ‘logic of appropriateness’. In other words, political behaviour is shaped by values which are understood “to be good, desirable, and appropriate” (Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998: 912) and are embodied in standards of appropriate behaviour, or norms (Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998: 891). Academics have argued that the Union is all the more socially conditioned to act as a moral agent pursuing the formula of appropriateness in its foreign relations because of its nature: voluntarily established and with a value-based identity since its very inception (Vogt, 2006: 6). In an effort to explore additional sources of the Union’s urge to be a moral agent for the good, Szigeti (2006: 27-29) has introduced and developed the concept of responsibility as a proxy for appropriateness. According to him, the impulse to act responsibly[7] is triggered by the realisation that, through interactions in the past, an actor has impinged negatively upon another actor and has brought about their current situation, which needs to be addressed (Ibid.).

Actors are also capable of projecting standards of appropriateness onto the international arena. This assertion has prompted academics interested in a social constructivist take on the EU to formulate and develop the notion of ‘normative power’ (see Manners, 2002; Larsen, 2014), according to which the Union reaches out beyond its ‘borders’ and, by spreading the principles embedded in its normative base[8], acts as a transformative force. The transfusion of norms from the European to the international level, or ‘Europeanisation’, is either an unintended phenomenon occurring by virtue of the EU’s existence, or a deliberate process taking place in an institutionalised form (Flockhart, 2010: 796; Manners, 2002: 244-45). According to Tocci (2007: 7-15), Europeanisation is the main peacebuilding strategy pursued by the EU, particularly in its conflict-affected ‘backyard’ where the promotion of peace is organised around the gradual rapprochement with the acquis communautaire through the establishment of formal dialogues and reliance on rationalist instruments of conditionality. The promise of benefits and the threat with punishments, however, guarantee only behavioural compliance with norms (Juncos, 2011: 372). In order for norms to genuinely take root in war-torn societies and foster sustainable peace, conditionality needs to be supplemented by socialisation (Ibid.). Social learning is contingent upon the pro-active engagement of ‘norm entrepreneurs’ that, according to Finnemore and Sikkink (1998: 896), hold strong convictions about the appropriateness of certain norms and actively employ persuasion tactics to disseminate them. Successful norm entrepreneurship, in this context, involves power asymmetries that are nevertheless imbued with credibility and legitimacy, or internal and external consistency in understandings of appropriateness and standards required of aspiring candidate countries (Jurado, 2006: 124; Juncos, 2011: 373).

Although the logic of appropriateness is indeed central to constructivist thought, this is not to say that norms and identity become the sole principle of operation of the international system, nor that rationality is displaced by a purely ideational understanding of the world. For Finnemore and Sikkink (1998: 914), the claims constructivists have to the rationale underlying actors’ behavior are not exclusivist: socially constructed standards of appropriateness might only supplement utility-maximisation motives. While the untenable representation of a selfless utopian Union is thus mitigated by the possibility of a concurrent rational impetus, it would be empirically difficult to isolate the utility-maximisation inputs to the EU’s foreign policy from the strictly norms-driven such. To resolve this conundrum, the dissertation will rely heavily on the assertion that norm entrepreneurs are strategic thinkers operating within the paradigm of liberal peacebuilding where the spread of democracy and human rights, among others, is commonly perceived as beneficial to all (Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998: 914; Roberts, 2011: 7). As a strategic thinker and liberal peacebuilder with the self-professed objective of norms diffusion, the EU would thus want to maximise compliance with the acquis communautaire. To this end, the legitimacy and credibility of the Union’s peacebuilding efforts need to be maintained, since the failure to do so would jeopardise the genuine internalisation of norms.

Hence, a social constructivist rationale would underlie the EU’s peacebuilding actions if they are informed by the logic of appropriateness, as a minimum condition, and if legitimacy and credibility are deliberately pursued as part of the overall strategic approach to assuring genuine compliance with mutually beneficial norms and values. This hypothesis will be henceforth referred to as the constructivist proposition.

2.2. Methodology

With the presumption that the above stated realist and constructivist hypotheses are neither comprehensive, nor mutually exclusive, the dissertation – a qualitative research drawing on both primary and secondary sources – will assess the tenability of these propositions in turn in the context of a carefully selected case study: the EU’s police-building efforts in BiH from 2000 to 2012. The thus set time parameters cover the period when the Union’s police operation was active (2003-2012) and the police reform process was initiated, as well as the years preceding the EUPM’s launch – a period saturated with relevant to this research events and systemic fluctuations within the international realm.

This dissertation will consult the national security and defence strategies of selected EU member states, press releases, decisions and joint actions issued by EU institutions, speeches and interviews given by EU and EU Member State officials, as well as academic literature exploring police-building. In testing the realist proposition, these sources will be screened for realist-grounded language and behaviour exhibiting security- and influence-maximising aspirations. In testing the constructivist proposition, this dissertation will look for references to collective values, norms, and appropriateness, as well as behaviour suggestive of the employment of strategic thinking in the pursuit of norms diffusion.

The selection of Member States has been conditioned on an evaluation of their commitment to peacebuilding. The UK, Sweden, and Germany have all been identified as main donors in BiH, through both EU and bilateral programmes. The rule-of-law area, in particular, has enjoyed elevated levels of interest from Great Britain and Sweden (European Commission, 2014: 8-12). Moreover, the states selected are all key, influential members of the Union and, hence, are expected to shape EU collective policy-making in agreement with their parochial interests and/or identities.

The findings will serve as the empirical base informing the deduction of a hierarchy of the drivers behind EU peacebuilding. Alternatively, if both propositions are found unfeasible or inadequate on their own, the dissertation will resort to proposing a mid-way solution, according to which both realism and social constructivism are informative of the motivations behind the EU’s actions in the field.


CHAPTER THREE: The Realist Proposition

“The best protection for our security is a world of well-governed democratic states.”

(European Security Strategy, 2003:10; author’s emphasis)

This chapter will test the realist proposition, i.e. whether influence- and security-maximising behaviour dominates EU engagement as a peace-builder in BiH. Throughout, particular attention will be paid to the input of Member States in shaping the collective EU peacebuilding policies towards the Balkan country.  After some context has been provided in the first section, the second one will analyse it with respect to the Union as an influence-maximiser. The final section will look for evidence of superimposition of domestic security concerns onto the Union’s foreign agenda and of security monopolisation of the peacebuilding space.

3.1. The EUPM: Overview

Handing over the monitoring of the Bosnian police structures from the UN to another actor authorised for the purpose was not devoid of contestations within the international community. In 2000, after a reprioritisation of its objectives and the concomitant intent to end the IPTF’s mandate, the UN welcomed the prospect of the EU assuming responsibility for Bosnia’s police. With its budding policing ambitions just set forward at the Feira European Council, the Union was also eager to step into the shoes of the UN (Matthiessen, 2013: 14-15). While initially well-disposed towards such a move, the US had a change of heart in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and expressed preference for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) instead (Penksa, 2006: 61). To launch their police mission in BiH, therefore, the EU needed to actively seek the American support. While the USA eventually acquiesced to the EU’s enhanced peacebuilding role, it remained involved in the negotiation processes by pressing for, together with certain EU Member States, an executive mandate. EUPM I was inaugurated, however, as a non-executive mission (Ibid.).

3.2. The Quest for Influence

UNIPTF to EUPM and Subsequent Developments

The handover episode illustrates that to carve out a role for itself in the region was of great importance to the Union. As noted by former High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, the EU would spare no effort to “reach a compromise with the Americans” (Solana cited in John, 2002), but even if this end were not achieved, the decision to run a police mission should still be taken (Ibid.). Solana’s statement echoed the readiness of the Union to take on a more prominent role in strengthening Bosnia’s police component—a commitment made at the meeting of the European Council in Seville a few days back (European Council, 2002: 2). Such statements exemplify the abundance of political will among Member States to reclaim BiH as a space within which, by virtue of its prerogatives of oversight, the Union could shape the future of its immediate neighbourhood. Thus, the EUPM was born just like the ESDP was: out of the frustration of “the Europeans who felt there had been too much of an American show” (Bildt, 2009: 16) during the peace negotiations and in the immediate post-conflict setting. The Council’s assertiveness, therefore, sent the message that acquiring influence in the area was a priority for the Union. A declaration of ‘autonomy and independence’ is also implicit: the conviction within the EU was that in addition to having the capacity to fill UN’s shoes, Europe was also sufficiently autonomous to do so without the support and explicit consent of the US, none of whose preferences were ultimately met. Nevertheless, the thus depicted adversarial moment should not be overplayed, as the Union has been cooperating closely with the States elsewhere, including in NATO (Pohl, 2012: 20). As Padurario (2014: 7) notes, these early attempts at establishing and consolidating the image of an engaged, independent, and influential actor marked only the beginning of a progressive increase in the EU’s capacity to shape the outcomes of events in BiH.

Distinctiveness as Influence

The aspiration to imbue the EUPM with Europeanness, observable since the very inception of the operation, also aimed at demonstrating and further enhancing the influence of the EU in BiH. According to Art’s (2006: 185) conceptualisation, a degree of autonomy from other actors complements influence. Thus, to the extent that distinctiveness from another actor is also a signifier of autonomy, the efforts of the EU to demarcate its image and actions can be read as influence-maximising behaviour.

Hence, distinct presence was an objective deliberately pursued by the EU despite the ideological and logistical continuity between the IPTF and its successor. Solana, for instance, highlighted that now it was “European colours [that] adorn[ed] the national uniforms of the police officers” (Council of the EU, 2002: 1). Symbolising “the collective will of Europeans to act jointly” (Ibid.), these colours would serve as a reminder of the existence of a uniquely European perspective on Bosnia’s future and, more importantly, of the potential of this perspective to bring about results on the ground (and do so unaided). To sustain these perceptions, significant resources were allocated to raising the EU’s profile vis-à-vis the IPTF and, by extension, other members of the international community engaged in peacebuilding in BiH (Padurariu, 2014: 6). To this end, the messages of the police operation were disseminated through televised anti-crime campaigns and a well-maintained website (Ibid.). Similarly, the double-hatting of the HR as the Special Representative for the EU (EUSR) exemplified the willingness of the EU to be more involved in Bosnia, as well as its ambition to imbue the post with European distinctiveness. Commenting on the proposal to abolish the OHR altogether, Javier Solana and then Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn argued that the new enhanced and more influential EUSR office “should be different from the OHR in mandate, size and overall approach” (European Commission, 2006: 2). 

3.3. Peacebuilding: A Security-maximising Endeavour  

Post-9/11 Dynamics

The transition from the IPTF to the EUPM illustrates that the global deficit of security, produced in the confusion of the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing war on terror, informs international engagement in BiH. Because of its established connections to terrorism, Bosnia was now a place of vested interests for the international community and the US as the leader in counter-terrorism operations in particular (Olchawa, 2015). To this attest not only the rekindled American interest in the Balkans but also the nature of the US preferences. Firstly, the OSCE was favoured over the EU, because the latter was still seen as “a security actor in the making” (Helly and Flessenkemper, 2013: 9) and, thus, could not be trusted with monitoring Bosnia’s police. A similar logic dictated the preference for an executive mandate because such an extended remit would entail more control over security-related matters (Penksa, 2006: 61). Clearly, the USA was alarmed by the architecture of post-conflict BiH—a state in the grips of organised crime and under the control of criminal networks related to terrorism. One could expect similar responses to be triggered in other international actors. In fact, the voiced preference of some Member States for an executive mandate of the police operation already alludes to such attitudes.

Domestic Threats

Terrorism and organised crime are the red threads running through the security and defence agendas of the UK, Germany, and Sweden. The 2008 National Security Strategy of the UK, for example, defines terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and transnational organised crime as its most pressing internal security concerns (Cabinet Office, 2008: 10-12). The document recognises that that the sources of these threats are usually failed, fragile, or emerging from conflict states and puts forward assistance to such countries as a priority (Ibid.). In a similar manner, the 2003 Defence Policy Guidelines of Germany identifies the asymmetric threats emanating from terrorism as the centrepieces of Germany’s defence agenda and highlights the indispensability of addressing violent ethnic conflicts, especially in Germany’s vicinity, and the criminal structures they facilitate (Federal Ministry of Defence, 2003: 6). The internal-external nexus is made explicit: “Unresolved political, ethnic, religious, economic and social conflicts combined with international terrorism, organised crime on an international scale […] directly affect German and European security” (Ibid.). In addition to spelling out Sweden’s preoccupation with organised crime and terrorism, the 2005-2007 defence strategy of the country points out to the EU and its enlargement policy in particular as important security policy starting-points (Government Offices of Sweden, 2005: 8). Similar attitudes to security permeate also popular discourse in these states. Commenting on the launch of the EUPM, for instance, Home Office Minister for Police John Denham has stated that “organised crime is an international problem and thrives where the rule of law is weak. By working hard to improve policing standards in Bosnia […] we are also undermining the ability of criminals to export their crime to the UK” (FCO, 2003).

EU Security Priorities

The European Security Strategy (ESS), released in 2003 and thus expected to serve as a guidebook to EU policy-making in the years to come, echoes the domestic security concerns of the Member States. Terrorism, WMD proliferation, regional conflict, state failure, and organised crime are listed as the main threats that the EU faces (Council of the EU, 2003: 3-5). Moreover, the document implicitly suggests that the internal and external security dimensions overlap: “Our traditional concept of self-defence […] was based on the threat of invasion. With the new threats, the first line of defence will often be abroad” (Council of the EU, 2003: 7). Such a reconceptualisation suggests that to reduce insecurity within the borders of EU states, the Union will adopt externally-oriented strategies targeting areas of potential danger. In exemplifying this internal-external security nexus, Carl Bildt[9] has reiterated that “[the EU’s] focus is primarily on the external security policies, where we try to further strengthen the security of Europe by promoting the stability of the rest of the world, and primarily the world that is adjacent to us” (2009: 16). Thus, combating organised crime domestically requires Balkan-oriented strategising (Council of the EU, 2003:6). To reaffirm this line of thinking, HR/EUSR in BiH Paddy Ashdown has stated:

If you want to fight crime on the streets of Manchester, if you want to fight prostitution, drugs, cigarette smuggling – now an issue for today – arms smuggling, on the streets of Manchester, London, Berlin and Paris, you start here in Sarajevo. This is the front line. (Frost and Ashdown, 2003)

The Exportation of Domestic/EU Security Concerns to BiH

Throughout the EUPM’s lifespan, the objective of combating organised crime grew in significance, as reflected in the adjustments introduced. As Tolksdorf (2014: 61) maintains, this focus was pursued by the European Council and the British government in particular. While the first mandate of the operation only briefly referenced terrorism and organised crime, EUPM II was reorganised around the security sentiments discernible in the defence postures of the EU and EU Member States (Council of the EU, 2002: 7). Thus, organised crime and police reform were defined as the focal points of EU policing in BiH, and the EUPM was entrusted with “assist[ing] local authorities in planning and conducting major and organised crime investigations” (Council of the EU, 2005: 56). The ensuing mandates built on these commitments and introduced further areas of interest, such as improving the relations between police officers and prosecutors, strengthening the police forces’ investigative capacities, and enhancing state-level police arrangements (Padurariu, 2014: 11). EUPM IV, in particular, placed a strong emphasis on trans-entity institution-building in order to enhance coordination and effectiveness in addressing crime (Council of the EU, 2009: 24).

Beyond the EUPM, the objective of fighting organised crime has also infiltrated the police reform and further EU integration debates. Stepping up the capacity for addressing complex crime was recognised by the EU’s 2003 Feasibility Study as a key precondition for signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with BiH (Recchia, 2007: 25). Former Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten has reiterated this sentiment by linking the effective combat against organised crime with progress towards Bosnia’s European future (Fischer, 2006: 59). Moreover, centralising the police system was identified by the Police Restructuring Commission (PRC) as an effective approach to deal with forms of crime with the tendency to spill over borders, such as human and drug trafficking (Carlyle, 2007: 5). The imbuing of all these police-building developments with the purpose of combating organised crime illustrates clearly the salience of domestic security for EU Member States and, thus, the realist bent of their peacebuilding policies.

Monopolising the Peacebuilding Space

While tackling organised crime is of importance to the peaceful future of the Bosnian state as well, opinions on whether it should be a priority to international peacebuilders diverge. A report by Amnesty International (AI), for instance, maintains that addressing the legacy of war should outrank any other approach to bringing about sustainable peace, because dealing with the grave human rights violations committed during the conflict is “in the wider interests of reconciliation and integration of a divided society” (AI, 2003a: 21). The impunity of war-time crime perpetrators, the argument goes, sustains an unhealthy and largely dysfunctional society (Ibid.). Given that an estimated 87.6% of Bosnians believe local authorities are unable to facilitate reconciliation in an effective manner, AI urged the EUPM to assist domestic actors in addressing adequately the past by facilitating the prosecution of war criminals and insisting in their indictment (Clark, 2013: 226; AI, 2003b: 21-22). In a letter to AI, Solana (2002:1) established that however interested in bringing about reconciliation, the EUPM would focus, first and foremost, on combating organised crime and on ensuring the safe return of displaced people (AI, 2003a: 21). In fact, the EU did stress collaboration with the International Crime Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) as a means to bring war-time crime perpetrators to justice, but this pro-active stance was animated by intelligence reports exposing the intimate relationship between crime activity and the networks associated with notorious war criminals rather than a genuine evaluation of culpability (Kappler, 2012b: 95). Hence, the importance of restoring trust among citizens was eclipsed by the monopolising agenda of fighting complex crime.

Academics have observed and documented the tendency of the Union to imbue its peacebuilding agenda with parochial security interests at the expense of the sense of physical security among Bosnians (cf. Ryan, 2009; Aitchison and Blaustein, 2013). According to Ryan (2009: 328), few to no points of contact exist between the EU and civil society actors who can indicate the sources of insecurity on the ground. Therefore, the EUPM’s narrow focus on organised crime is decoupled from a thorough evaluation of the social realities in BiH and relegates human security among Bosnian citizens to a second-order issue (Collantes-Celador, 2005: 366). According to Ryan (2009: 315-317), the EU preserves the appearance of internal security in Bosnia, while only striving to isolate itself from the risks stemming from the country. An emphasis on organised crime, furthermore, attaches more importance to speediness than sustainability and, hence, undermines the very rationale of the EUPM presented in its original mission statement (Ioannides and Collantes-Cellador, 2011: 421). To the course of its peacebuilding policies, it has been argued, the Union makes recourse to newly engineered/modified norms and standards that sit more comfortably with its agenda (Ioannides and Collantes-Cellador, 2011: 422).

This chapter has presented substantial evidence of the EU acting with influence- and security-maximising concerns in mind. In addition to informing the direction of EU police-building effort, these realist mantras have also been shown to monopolise it by obscuring local problems, such as the paucity of reconciliation and human security. The reverberation of the post-9/11 ubiquitous security deficit in the defence agendas of Member States has also been illustrated. It is this alignment of security interests that has allowed for the combat against organised crime to become the centrepiece of the EU’s comprehensive police-building engagement in BiH.


CHAPTER FOUR: The Social Constructivist Proposition

In the previous chapter, ample evidence of the EU acting with influence- and security-maximising concerns in mind was found. To check the soundness of the constructivist proposition, this chapter will open up with a discussion on the perceived salience of the EU’s ideational realm as disclosed in discourse. The next section will test the minimum condition required to validate the constructivist proposition, i.e. whether the peacebuilding actions of the Union are informed by the logic of appropriateness. To this end, it will analyse the recurrence of democracy, human rights, and local ownership in discursive and behavioural practices – a focus determined for reasons of representativeness[10] and availability of data. The final section will look for evidence of strategic norm entrepreneurship, or to what extent the peacebuilding actions of the Union reflect the supremacy of values/norms over other objectives and are consistently and legitimately carried out.

4.1. The Discourse on Values and Norms

Values weave through the discursive representations of the Union. Defined by the Treaty of the EU as “respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities” (TEU, 2012: 17), these values contribute to interpretations of the Union’s identity in predominantly ideational terms. As former Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn has put it, “Geography sets the frame, but fundamentally it is values that make the borders of Europe” (2005: 2). Thus, the EU as “a community of values” (Ibid.) is ultimately better defined by its ideational composition than by markers belonging to the material world. Values have been proclaimed to defeat not only borders, but also the inclination to power struggles envisaged in classic realist thought: “Instead of balance-of-power politics, the rule of law governs the internal and external business of the European Union” (Rehn, 2005: 3). Hence, it is the EU’s overwhelming ideational dimension that dictates its relations with the rest of the world – a phenomenon that Carl Bildt has dubbed the ‘European conscience.’ According to this notion, the Union is morally compelled to defend its values whenever they are compromised and especially in cases of large-scale human rights violations (Bildt, 2008: 48).

4.2. The Logic of Appropriateness in Action

The EUPM’s Launch and EU Integration: Responsible Europe

By the time the EU launched its police operation in BiH, the police forces there had already been, for the most part, certified by the IPTF and cleaned of elements allegedly linked to war-time crimes (AI, 2003a: 21). While this assuaged the EU’s urge to interfere with the immediacy predicted by Bildt’s ‘European conscience’ conceptualisation, the EUPM still originated in understandings of appropriateness. Drawing on Szigeti’s (2006: 27-29) reimagining of the notion of appropriateness, the Union’s actions in BiH are always triggered by the ‘contribution principle’, i.e. the perception that the EU has contributed to the present fragility of the Balkan state and has thus incurred the duty to intervene there. Haunted by the consequences of its inaction during the Bosnian war, as well as its marginal role in Dayton, the Union has enhanced its transformative presence in BiH through, inter alia, police-building effort (The Economist, 2005). The collective will embodied in the genesis of the EUPM, therefore, can be construed as the EU’s attempt to compensate for the incoherent foreign policy that constrained its actions in the nineties. Thus, the barrier to Member States’ unity in decision-making can be overcome by an appeal to the Union’s normative foundation imbued with the logic of appropriateness.

Defending Democratic and Human Rights

The EU’s commitment to democracy and human rights has found expression in the structural developments within the EUPM. In his letter to AI, Solana has alluded to the inexorable intertwinement between the European face of the mission and the dedication to human rights: “A professional, European police service is one that incorporates a human rights-based approach into all aspects of its work. In order to do this, the police service must reflect those standards in its own structures and practices” (2002: 1). In line with this reasoning, the EUPM’s monitoring functions were vowed to also incorporate the ‘aggressive’, yet constrained by the operation’s advisory mandate, oversight of investigations of human rights abuses. To this end, a special Legal Advisor was designated to provide guidance to the police forces in reviewing and reporting human rights-sensitive cases (Ibid.). Furthermore, special attention was drawn to mechanisms of recruitment and promotion because of their proneness to discriminative practices. The EU, for instance, took a pro-active stance in drafting the Law on Police Officials with the aim of replacing the non-transparent regulations on employment with a comprehensive legal framework for managing such matters (Padurariu, 2014: 11). Indicative of the adherence to human rights and democratic values within the EU was also HR/EUSR Schwarz-Schilling’s vocal disagreement with the arbitrary vetting of policemen practiced by the UNIPTF. He has engaged in intensive negotiations with the UN in order to reverse the non-transparent processes of police officers’ dismissals that violated fundamental international norms and standards (Carlyle, 2007: 1-2). These examples illustrate the EU’s commitment to democratic policing: embedding the police system with the principles of transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights and watching them reverberate throughout the country’s institutional and societal spaces.

Another commitment made by the EU was the creation of ethnically-integrated police units, which are believed to facilitate conduciveness to democratic and human rights. When the composition of police forces resonates with the ethnic architecture of the society they serve, basic democratic principles like representation and responsiveness are met. This, in turn, ensures that all citizens feel safeguarded against ethnically-based discrimination and encourages the return of minorities to pre-conflict areas (Collantes-Celador, 2005: 366). Positive dynamics favouring reconciliation emerge also within the police structures themselves: an esprit de corps is gradually mustered in the process of training, and a sense of belonging to a professional rather than an ethnic group is developed. Once mirrored in the wider society, this sense of equality continues to blur divisions and consolidates respect for human rights (Collantes-Celador, 2005: 367). To facilitate this “virtuous circle” (Ibid.), the EU introduced ethnic quotas and placed a strong emphasis on minority recruitment (Collantes-Celador and Ioannides, 2011: 430). Albeit having shown limited success, these measures demonstrate the EU’s aspiration to further the values embedded in the foundations of its constitutional and ethical life.

Local Ownership

The Union has also portrayed the EUPM as an instrument for furthering internationally accepted peacebuilding standards of appropriateness and capitalising on their positive effects. Local ownership, a norm internalised by the EU, has been a particularly potent informant of appropriateness in the conduct of European peacebuilding activities. Commitment to local ownership has been declared in various official EU documents[11], and its salience has also been re-affirmed in the context of Bosnia: “These [EUPM’s priorities] are to assist BiH police in establishing sustainable policing arrangements under BiH ownership” (Solana, 2002:1, original emphasis). Leading the way in championing the principle at the Member State level has been Sweden, whose 2006-2010 Strategy for Development Cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina identified fostering local ownership as a priority of the Swedish civilian engagement in BiH (Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 2006: 11). Such a strong normative disposition comes as no surprise given that the civilian wing of the EU’s conflict management agenda was brought to life thanks to the strong support of the Nordic countries and that they have ever since advocated for the Union’s enhanced global function of a formidable force for good (Strömvik, 2006: 199).

The notion of local ownership, however, sits uneasily with the intrusive character of the Bonn powers, the recourse to which starves local agents of the control over the country, perpetuates a culture of dependency, and hampers any real prospect of achieving sustainable peace and stability (Recchia, 2007: 7). To address these concerns, the European Commission has rejected publicly the interference of the HR in conditionality-related matters and has welcomed Schwarz-Schilling’s promise to limit the paternalistic foreign presence channelled through the OHR (Juncos, 2011: 374; Lintonen, 2006). EUPM senior officials were also reluctant to remove recalcitrant police officers by resorting to the OHR, even though its unchecked prerogatives in dismissal matters could ease and expedite the process (Juncos, 2012: 67). These examples illustrate that the actions of the Union have been shaped by accepted standards of what is right rather than the desire for short-term convenience.

4.3. A Norm Entrepreneuer?

The Police Reform Debate

The genesis of the police reform dates back to 2003, when the European Commission called for the reorganisation and rationalisation of Bosnia’s police structures (European Commission, 2003: 41). At that point, no explicit preference was given to centralisation at the state level, and the Dutch and Swiss police systems were cited as examples of fairly decentralised, yet compatible with the European vision rule-of-law systems (Carlyle, 2007: 3). In fact, the functional review ordered by the Commission stated that “local ownership [was] more important than any solution on paper” (ICMPD and TC Team Consult, 2004: 135). The ensuing intrusion on behalf of HR/EUSR Ashdown came at odds with this assertion: the PRC he established ‘by decree’ was foreign-led, with exclusivist claims to the reform process, and detached from the local needs (Carlyle, 2007: 5). The model proposed by the PRC involved the transfer of legislative and budgetary competences from the entities to the state level, which the constitutional arrangements for power-sharing under the Dayton Agreement did not provide for. To resolve this, Ashdown used his leverage with EU institutions and officials, most notably the then Commissioner for External Relations Patten, to attach the power of EU conditionality to his centralisation-oriented agenda (Juncos, 2011: 377). Eventually the Commission did not only acquiesce to the points that the PRC had dubbed essential to police reform but also tied the thus engineered ‘European principles’ to the potentiality of signing a SAA with BiH (Ibid.). After prolonged negotiations and obstructionism on the ground, however, the EU was forced to backtrack on its requirements and modify the principles in a way that would not contradict directly the nationalist sentiments in BiH (Carlyle, 2007: 5).

The Retreat of Values

The episode above raises doubts about the presence of an overpowering ideational momentum in the EU’s peacebuilding initiatives in Bosnia. The redefinition of Europeanness that came about with the acceptance of the PRC’s principles demonstrates the volatility of the Union’s supposedly buoyant normative identity.  As documented by Dnevni Avaz, the reform proposal has been rather embraced than acquiesced to: the Union has asserted that “these principles are unquestionable and there is no room for any interpretation” (BBC Monitoring European, 2006a: 1). Representing a concession to politics, these demands reveal the superficiality of the EU’s approach to norms diffusion rather than the self-professed primacy of the ideational dimension, let alone a strategic take on it. Moreover, by making the SAA conditional on compliance with the detached from the EU’s normative foundation reform proposal, the EU effectively turned any further progress of Bosnia towards Brussels into less of a rapprochement with a space of shared values and more of a technocratic process. This fits Kappler’s (2012a: 620) broader observation that efficiency and technocracy often eclipse norms diffusion during the process of integration. The readiness of the EU to place both politics and efficiency above values suggests that cementing respect for norms through social learning is an unlikely ultimate goal of its overall peacebuilding strategy in BiH. 

Legitimacy Compromised

Albeit stamped with the European seal, the PRC’s principles embody institutions[12] and practices that the Union, as already pointed out, has denounced on various occasions. This mismatch between words and deeds has exposed the inherent inconsistency embedded in the EU and, thus, has compromised its legitimacy on the ground. The favoritism with which the Union handled the police reform debate, however, proved more damaging to its capacity to exercise normative power in BiH. Despite lack of definitive evidence that organised crime was a bigger problem in Bosnia than in any of the other SEE states, a centripetal orientation of the police restructuring process was required only of BiH, with the underlying rationale of increasing the capacity to fight crime (Carlyle, 2007: 3). As the Union’s legitimacy “relies on the bloc’s credibility, transparency and fairness” (ESI, 2012), this lack of even-handedness in carrying out dialogue with aspiring candidate countries certainly affected local perceptions of its normative posture. The significance of this loss of legitimacy, however, lies rather in the readiness with which the Union has given up the ability to engender genuine local compliance with its values for political and security gains.

The legitimacy of the Union and the reform process was also compromised by the deficiency of local input to the police restructuring proposal. Local ownership is not only a norm but also a legitimising device central to the consolidation of democratic practices (Juncos, 2012: 67). The foreign force pushing the reform, therefore, has dealt a serious blow to the credibility of the proposal and the EU, as well as to the broader normative pursuit of establishing a strong democratic culture. Beyond the reform process but still in the realm of police-building, the Union has also shown negligible preoccupation with the prospect of undermining its legitimacy. In 2006, for instance, the EUPM overstepped its mandate by interfering directly in the investigation of a terrorist attack on the grave of ex-President Izetbegovich. Following the intrusion, local politicians expressed strong disapproval of the police mission’s illegitimate appropriation of prerogatives (BBC Monitoring European, 2006b: 1). Given that such discontent is likely to constrain the prospects of genuine accommodation of the normative base of the acquis, the actions of the EUPM raise reasonable doubt about its norm entrepreneurship.

Beyond the Police Reform

To the extent that results, or lack thereof, indicate the existence of and dedication to the pursuit of a strategic aim, the failure to substantiate rhetoric commitments with achievements on the ground further devalues the EU as a normative power. The ethnic quotas introduced by the EUPM, for example, were not filled by 2009, which suggests that insufficient effort had been put in implementing this objective imbued with reconciliatory ambitions (Ioannides and Collantes-Celador, 2011: 430). Furthermore, the points of contact between the EUPM and the local police remained limited to the senior and managerial levels. While Padurario (2014: 10) has praised the merits of such a strategy, it displays a rather limited commitment to local ownership and the salience of leading by example, i.e. fostering strong bonds of collegiality within police structures that are subsequently echoed in social and state institutions.

This chapter has presented insufficient evidence to validate the constructivist hypothesis. Nevertheless, the EU has been shown to verbally reaffirm its commitment to norms and to initiate actions in agreement with its values. Occasionally, the impetus provided by the logic of appropriateness has been strong enough to suppress the desire to opt for an easier path. However, the analysis has also disclosed the Union’s limited norm entrepreneurship. Its willingness to sideline or modify its norms and compromise its legitimacy for the sake of security, politics and efficiency illustrates the lack of strategic direction in the process of europeanising the peacebuilding space.


CHAPTER FIVE: Conclusions

Connecting the Dots

To identify the drivers behind EU peacebuilding, this dissertation has harnessed the explanatory potential of defensive (neo)realism and social constructivism, the premises of which have produced two competing hypotheses. Testing them in the context of the Union’s police-building efforts in BiH has accentuated the dichotomy between the quest for internal security backed with substantial international influence and the aspiration to shape war-torn societies in agreement with normative standards of appropriateness.

Firstly, the analysis has revealed that the thus presented self-interested and idealist peacebuilding dimensions are neither mutually exclusive, nor incommensurable. The co-existence of realist- and constructivist-grounded motives has been exemplified, first and foremost, in the genesis of the Union’s police-building efforts in the Balkan country. The EUPM was launched both as an attempt at reclaiming regional influence from the international community, most notably the USA and the UN, and as an embodiment of the responsibility of the EU towards BiH. Moreover, the assumption of the incommensurability of the realist and constructivist paradigms has been challenged by evidence that, for instance, the norm-driven protest against the impunity of war-time criminals has both reconciliatory and security-enhancing functions.

A particularly strong realist impetus has been detected in the expansion of the EU’s police-building scope to incorporate, on top of the developments within the original police operation, the Union’s direct participation in the police reform process and the enhanced presence of the HR/EUSR. The objective of fighting trans-border organised crime has been demonstrated to run like a red thread through all these police-building dimensions and to animate efforts at stepping up local capacity for investigation, prosecution and assertive monitoring, as well as strengthening state-level police agencies or transcending the entity-based police model altogether.

Notwithstanding its centrality in such self-interested behaviour, the aim of combating organised crime has fallen short of being the sole principle of operation of the Union’s comprehensive police-building activity in BiH: objectives of normative character have been found to co-exist with the crime fighting imperative. These include, but are not limited to, mainstreaming human rights into the EUPM’s day-to-day work, establishing multi-ethnic police units, and limiting the paternalistic international presence undermining local ownership. Unlike the imperative of addressing organised crime, however, the aspiration to adapt Bosnia’s police structures to the paradigm of democratic policing exhibits less of a strategic direction: inauspicious conditions on the ground, political whims, and efficiency mantras are likely to reduce normative pursuits to side issues, and the EU has been demonstrated to perceive increased security and influence as acceptable tradeoffs for legitimacy.

Thus, the evidence found does not suffice to substantiate fully the constructivist proposition: while the minimum condition of identifying behaviour informed by the logic of appropriateness has been met, the Union has been shown to lack the strategic thinking of a norm entrepreneur likely to engender genuine compliance with standards of appropriateness. On the other hand, ample evidence of influence- and security-maximising monopolising behaviour has been identified. This dissertation, in other words, has demonstrated that the peacebuilding actions of the EU are driven mainly by realist-grounded, inward-oriented motivations that co-exist with impetuses of normative character, but are also able to suppress  and expulse them from the peacebuilding agenda.

Beyond the Hypotheses

Having employed generalisable IR theories as the theoretical foundation of its analysis and having chosen a case study whose original narrow focus expands to incorporate another policy area, this research has made claims to yielding findings the applicability of which reaches beyond peacebuilding and sheds light on other dimensions of EU foreign policy as well. The extent to which this aspiration has been met is difficult to assess until further research is conducted. Areas of potential interest for further analysis are, firstly, the peacebuilding effort in decoupled from an explicit security node areas and, secondly, the EU’s enlargement policy conceived in peacebuilding terms. This dissertation has already provided valuable insights to both.

Policy Implications

In the context of post-war BiH, the overwhelming presence of security-related concerns is particularly damaging. The commonly held assumptions of Bosnia’s inexorable connectedness to organised crime – deemed unsubstantiated, at best, by the European Security Initiative – tend to obscure the need of addressing its deeply divided societal and institutional spaces. These divisions along ethnic and political lines, however, are not delinked from security issues: in addition to intensifying traditional security threats, they also endanger Europe’s self-representation as a value community united by common normative and identity threads. The potential of realist- and constructivist-driven aspirations to not only co-exist but also enrich each other suggests that the reprioritisation of objectives might yield absolute gains expressed in maximisation of security and reconciliation alike. To make this possible, an enhanced input on behalf of Member States with established strong civilian and normative identities, such as Sweden, is needed to outbalance or at least mitigate the strong security-oriented gaze dominating the intergovernmental decision-making level.

As far as the EU enlargement policy is concerned, this dissertation has demonstrated that the processes of integration are not shielded from contamination with political biases and security imperatives. When employed as a peacebuilding tool in fragile states, enlargement becomes particularly vulnerable to the obfuscation of its positive transformative force with delegitimising elements that undermine the entire policy area. Therefore, the EU needs to demarcate processes of Member State-building from peacebuilding in order to preserve and capitalise on the merits of integration.


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End Notes

[1] Hereinafter, ‘EU’, ‘the Union’ or, for stylistic reasons, ‘Europe’.

[2] This is not to suggest that the EU has created an entirely coherent peacebuilding framework.

[3] Hereinafter ‘BiH’ or ‘Bosnia’.

[4] For an example, see Bayley (2001).

[5] For a discussion on the ‘laundry list’ concept, which ties peacebuilding to the accomplishment of certain goals, see Roberts (2011: 8). The theory of liberal peacebuilding will be referenced only insofar as it relates to social constructivism.

[6] ‘Realism’ will be used hereinafter to denote this particular strand.

[7] Szigeti lists six principles of which this is the most relevant to the case study in hand.

[8] According to Manners (2002:242), these include but are not limited to sustainable peace, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, which are also the core principles comprising the acquis communautaire and the acquis politique.

[9] Here in the capacity of Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs; however, he has also been directly involved in BiH as an EU official.

[10] Democracy and human rights are core elements of the EU’s value system that have developed into acquis norms (Manners, 2002: 242), while local ownership is, in addition to being derived from the value of sustainable peace, a globally recognised and subsequently internalised by the EU peacebuilding norm.

[11] See Commission of the European Communities (2001) and Council of the European Union (2001).

[12] According to common perceptions, Ashdown’s frequent recourse to the Bonn powers brings him closer to the intrusive functions expected of the OHR than to the post of EUSR (Juncos, 2011:378).

Written by: Nadezhda Trichkova
Written at: The University of Edinburgh
Written for: Dr. Chad Damro
Date written: April 2016


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