The trilogy of peace, security and development compounded by the imperative of good governance is a principle enunciated in various EU official documents and has also become an operational concept in the EU’s instruments for external action. With Security Sector Reform identified as a core element of the EU’s peacebuilding efforts, the EU’s police mission in the DRC represents a key example of external donors’ initiatives designed to help shape the transitional phase of countries moving to a more stable situation.
The challenges faced by ESDP missions on the ground are “only gradually becoming the subject of research-based evaluations” (see M. Merlingen and R. Ostrauskaite, ‘ESDP Police Missions: Meaning, Context and Operational Challenges’ (2005) 10 EFA Rev, pp. 215–235). This article builds on a conception of policing as one that goes beyond the provision of basic security to citizens to include the redesigning of social order through the transformation of police practices from non-liberal to best international practices. Thus it reviews the experience of EUPOL Kinshasa with two objectives in mind: 1) to provide insights into the process of consolidation of the EU’s crisis management expertise and capability with a view to assessing the coherency and effectiveness of its action and 2) to contribute to the discussion on how the EU’ approach to police reform contributes to the establishment of a different social order in the DRC.European Foreign Affairs Review