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5/27/16

EU: Justice for atrocity and economic crimes: can the EU deliver? - by Javor Rangelov, Marika Theros, and Nataša Kandić

With the partial exception of the Holocaust, European states have done little reckoning with their own legacies of abuse inherited from war and repressive rule in Europe and the former colonies.
  
At the June Summit, which will take place after the UK Referendum, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, will present the results of her global review of external strategy. As part of the review process, the Human Security Study Group, at the LSE, which is convened by Mary Kaldor and Javier Solana, has presented a report entitled From Hybrid Peace to Human Security: Rethinking the EU Strategy Towards Conflict together with twelve background research papers .

Conflicts are at the sharp end of contemporary crises. Refugees, extremist ideologies, criminality and predation are all produced in conflict. Contemporary conflicts are sometimes known as ‘hybrid wars’ or ‘new wars’ in which classic distinctions between public and private, government/regular and rebel/irregular, and internal and external break down. They are best understood not as legitimate contests of wills (the twentieth century idea of war) but as a degenerate social condition in which armed groups mobilise sectarian and fundamentalist sentiments and construct a predatory economy through which they enrich. Identifying ways to address violent conflict could open up strategies for dealing with broader issues.

In this special openDemocracy series, the Human Security Study Group outlines the main conclusions of our report in our introductory essay together with six essays based on some of the background papers. These essays include: an analysis of the conceptual premises of the Global Review (Sabine Selchow); three essays on specific conflict zones – Syria (Rim Turkmani), Ukraine (Tymofiy Mylovanov), the Horn of Africa (Alex de Waal); the importance of the EU’s justice instrument (Iavor Rangelov); and how EU cyber security policy is human rights focused rather than state focussed (Genevieve Schmeder and Emmanuel Darmois). 

Few issues galvanise citizen action and activism in conflict-affected areas like justice for atrocity crimes and economic crimes. This high demand for justice reflects the criminalised character of both the violence and the war economy in today’s conflicts. Most people on the ground experience conflict as daily encounters with different forms of abuse and predation that make their lives profoundly insecure. 

Read more: Justice for atrocity and economic crimes: can the EU deliver? | openDemocracy

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