More space to mass atrocity prevention in the EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy!
The Summary of the Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy adopted in December 2008 states that Governments hold a shared responsibility to protect populations from genocide war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”. That is a clear commitment to the principle of the Responsibility to Protect elaborated in the World Summit Outcome in 2005 !
For the last seven years the EU institutions and its Member States made tangible efforts to translate the principle into practice. Strong political will and ambition are also reflected in the Recommendations of the European Parliament which were adopted in April 2013 and encouraged EU Institutions and Member States to build consensus and further professionalize the activities relating to RtoP. Nonetheless, we may not lean back in our chairs and claim to have done enough!
The EU, being a principled global actor and „security provider”, has the moral obligation to contribute to the international efforts to prevent and stop mass atrocity crimes and render assistance to all countries at risk beyond the walls of the European Union. Furthermore, the increasing extremism, radicalization, xenophobia and hate speech within the walls of the European Union necessitates to multiply the efforts in this field.
Fulfilment of this mission requires both a more firm political dedication to the cause and more action to develop national, regional and institutional capacities, capabilities and skills. Administrations have to clearly recognize that the prevention of violent conflicts and the prevention of mass atrocity crimes are overlapping but different endeavours requiring different policy lenses. Furthermore, they should develop and institutionalize adequate warning, preventive and response activities. A specific „mass atrocity lens” should be applied in all phases of the conflict cycle.
The ongoing reflection to shape a Common Security and Defence Policy that is “common” indeed and addresses the contemporary security challenges should include considerations on how to achieve these goals. The Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities encourages EU Institutions and Member States to devote due attention to the cause of mass atrocity prevention, make explicit commitment for further generating political will, cultivating expertise, improving capabilities and enhancing international partnerships in this domain. The EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy, the preparation of which was announced by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in June, will have to tackle these issues.
The 10th anniversary of the World Summit Outcome and the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica should remind all stakeholders to the responsibility to take more measures to counter the threats.
The Budapest Centre offers hereby its capacities and capabilities to support the activities of the EU institutions and Member States in the course of these activities.