MEP Franziska Brantner today commended the upcoming Open Space event organised by mediatEUr on the creation of a European Institute of Peace: "The discussions about the European Institute of Peace must not solely take place behind closed doors. The issue is far too important to leave it to government negotiators alone. That's why I think the Open Space is a great idea. It's an important opportunity for civil society representatives and conflict resolution experts to feed their ideas and expertise into the ongoing preparations for the European Institute of Peace.
On request of the European External Action Service (EEAS), mediatEUr, in partnership with TEA-CEGOS, is developing a coaching programme, including overall concept, training approach, curriculum and materials, on international peace mediation for EU diplomats and partners. mediatEUr will support the roll-out of the coaching programme in 2012 in several EU Delegations, through a pilot project of the EEAS.
Today, mediatEUr hosted the first meeting of the informal Advisory Council of the European Institute of Peace (EIP) initiative. The meeting was attended by Representatives from the Governments of Sweden, Finland,Belgium and Switzerland; the European Parliament; the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office; and the International Chamber of Commerce. 
We are delighted to announce that mediatEUr's core team member, and Greek diplomat, Alex Rondos has been appointed EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa. He will take office in January 2012, and his mandate will run until June 2012. This is a new post, created by EU foreign ministers on 14 November. His mandate will be to “contribute to efforts to achieve peace, security and development in Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda". High Representative Catherine Ashton has commented "I look forward to working closely with Alexander Rondos, whose vast experience of the region makes him an excellent choice for this vital role. The recent adoption of the strategic framework for the Horn of Africa shows…
In December 2011, mediatEUr conducted a mission to Georgia in order to develop and advise on options for the development of a trust fund for confidence-building. The mission forms part of mediatEUr's project 'EU policy advice to Georgia and its strategy for engagement.'
As part of the 'Creating Improved Capacities for Peace Mediation' project, mediatEUr hosted a first expert and policymaker roundtable on peace mediation, power-sharing and transitional justice, on 10 November 2011. The roundtable brought together over 20 participants from the European External Action Service; the European Commission; Member States; and civil society experts for an informal exchange on the EU's peace process support, and options for tackling challenges of power-sharing arrangements and transitional justice. The aim was to begin formulating policy and operational recommendations to inform the EU's support in this area. A summary report of roundtable discussions is available here. For more information on this work, contact Canan Gündüz.