The report argues that EU policy makers are only beginning to take note of the evidence that mediation is a useful tool in resolving intrastate conflicts. Working towards realising the soft power potential of the EU as a civilian actor in this field, requires a full understanding of the enormous value added that a structured, systematic approach in conflict resolution could bring. Too much time and energy is spent deciding on foreign policy actions that attempt to magnify the power of the European Union through leverage and pressure, rather than helping conflict parties address their real needs in resolving the conflict. This is dismissive of the billions of euros that are spent for development aid and projects that involve civil society working towards creating just and equitable societies that are not about conflict, but peace.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the concept of international peace mediation for the European Union, establish its policy relevance, and analyse reigning perceptions and attitudes so as to identify key challenges in order to propose specific measures and institutionalised models that could enhance the ‘soft power’ potential of the European Union in this area.
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