European Union External Action


The New Peace Operations as a Stabilising factor for the European Union

15/06/2018 - 15:37
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Tested as a pilot activity in 2017, the course on "New peace operations as a stabilising factor for the European Union", ran for the first time as part of the regular course programme of the CASD. From 7th to 11th May 2018, 65 military and civilian participants from 8 EU Member States were provided with a comprehensive insight into the world of peace operations with a view to supporting Member States and EU institutions with knowledgeable and strategic advice in the planning of crisis-related CSDP missions and operations.

Particular attention was given to the implementation of the integrated approach, the role of Security Sector Reform (SSR) as a stabilising contributor to peace, and the concept of protecting civilians and human rights. Furthermore, the role of Formed Police Units was highlighted as an appropriate tool for policing stability for future operations.

After reviewing the evolution of UN peacekeeping in the traditional sense, the course focussed on EU crisis management operations/missions and NATO operations in comparison to mandate, scope, size and duration. An analysis of success factors and weaknesses of different models completed the lessons-learnt session through the sharing of personal experiences by former Commanders and Heads of Missions.


The course was followed by a workshop on "The preservation of cultural heritage for international peace and security", a topic of particular interest to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini as reflected in a speech she held at the UN General Assembly (New York) on 21 September 2017 on the necessity to protect cultural heritage in the fight against terrorism. On this occasion, HR/VP Mogherini presented three lines of action within the scope of three main priorities:

  • 1st priority: Protection. The protection of cultural heritage has become part of the mandate of all EU military and civilian missions. Experts in Cultural Property Protection will be appointed to these missions. Since October 2017, the first experts have been operating in Iraq to “support local security forces” in protecting cultural heritage and goods.
  • 2nd priority: Preserving Memory. The EU has been providing financial support and technical assistance to restore destroyed sites and damaged cultural heritage. For example, the European Commission recently adopted a € 2 million programme to restore cultural sites in Kosovo, to name but one.
  • 3rd priority: Security. The EU has started to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural goods that are sometimes used to finance terrorist activities. In particular, it has prohibited the import of cultural artefacts from Iraq and Syria, and it has extended this prohibition to all importations of illicit cultural goods. Protecting cultural heritage has thus become part of the EU’s strategy in the fight against terrorism.

High-ranking professors of the universities of Milan, Rome, Siena, Turin and Venice, as well as international experts, presented the various dimensions of the quest to preserve cultural heritage.