Recent developments in the Sahel region, the Horn of Africa and Sudan/South Sudan have once more demonstrated the ongoing challenge of reconciling security and development policy objectives. More specifically, international aid in conflict states or regions has to meet three general criteria in order to be effective: flexibility, rapidity and reconciliation of short-term security with long-term development priorities. This article assesses the particular problems the European Union faces in bridging the security-development divide and how it has adapted its toolbox - based on the three criteria mentioned above.
Reforms undertaken in the course of the ending Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2007-2013) and those proposed by the European Commission for the next financial period from 2014 onward are mostly tackling the procedural and bureaucratic hurdles for EU aid in conflict states. They do not address the underlying political problems, however. It is unlikely that these problems will be solved by grand bargains and institutional design. Rather, confidence in the EU's foreign policy system to deal with conflict states - and to bridge short-term crisis management and long-term development cooperation - will have to be created over time through practical cooperation.European Foreign Affairs Review