Discussion Paper: Missing a Trick? Building Bridges between EU Mediation and EU Electoral Support in Conflict-affected Countries

What can be done to promote credible, legitimate and peaceful elections as well as resilient societies that can manage electoral disputes without resorting to violence? What types of third party mediation mechanisms can be supported in order to complement and support electoral assistance, and vice-versa? How can a major external player, like the EU, act decisively in influencing the best “timing” for post-conflict elections – and promote a window of “political opportunity” for local stakeholders rather than one of “military opportunity”?

In order to explore how the EU might strengthen its capacity to respond to electoral conflicts and violence, mediatEUr and ECES are convening a small, expert workshop, on the 25th of September 2012 at the mediatEUr premises in Brussels.

 

This background paper served to inform discussions at the workshop. The aim was to:

 

  1. Outline the complexities and opportunities for electoral observation, assistance, mediation and conflict resolution in the context of conflict and violence.
  2. Promote greater linkages between conflict prevention and electoral assistance efforts by the EU in conflict-affected countries.
  3. Generate recommendations for the EU to strengthen its capacity to better respond to electoral violence through mediation and conflict resolution measures.
  4. Outline elements for a specialised training curriculum on electoral violence, electoral assistance, mediation and conflict resolution, as well as specific leadership development for EU audiences.

This meeting is an integral part of the project “Creating Improved Capacities for International Peace Mediation”, implemented by mediatEUr, and funded by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.