Europe’s Response to Violent Conflict

With the increase in violence and terror in Europe – most recently with the horrific London Bridge incident killing seven on Saturday night – the need to step up the planning of a strategic response has escalated.  As such various organizations (including the Counter Terrorism Group [CTG], European Counter Terrorism Centre [ECTC], and the European Centre for Development Policy Management [ECDPM]) are developing new and more innovative procedures to counter this.

In a recent interview between Andrew Sheriff, Head of the European External Affairs Programme at ECDPM, spoke about the matter to two experts in the field.  One of them, Sonya Reines-Djivanides, Executive Director of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO), said the following:

“Responding to violent conflict has been an increasing preoccupation of those concerned with foreign policy and international development in recent years. Indeed peace building has become increasingly popular since the end of the cold war. Europe – and that means European union and certain member states – has been some of the most consistent political and financial backers of peace building.  Yet with conflict coming closer to Europe’s borders, concern brought on by Brexit, Trump presidency and the largest amount of refugees since the end of the Second World War, there is a palpable feeling of change.  There are concerns that peacebuilding – that is long-term multi-faceted approaches to dealing with conflict – will be crowded out by short term approaches to crisis management just at a time when they’re needed the most.”

Reines Djivanides also argued that strategy for battling terror in Europe must respond to the changing political environment.  This interview was just the start of the ECDPN’s wider policy research project that will take place throughout the year.

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