Security for Whom? Analysing SSR from a Southern Neighbourhood Perspective
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Security Sector Reforms (SSR) were considered to be one of the best tools to support Arab transitions. Today, this policy priority has been reiterated in light of the clear link between major terrorist attacks in Europe and the instability in its Southern neighbourhood. The European Neighbourhood Policy reviews of 2011 and 2015 both underline the necessity of SSR measures in order to ensure the “democratic control over armed and security forces”. Yet, no major steps in this direction have been undertaken so far and the security sector has remained a matter of bilateral rather than European cooperation. Hence, the question arises as to what extend are EU-promoted SSR initiatives possible in the Southern neighbourhood. Tacking the viewpoint of Maghreb countries, this paper argues that 1) SSR highly depends on the partner country’s willingness to engage with the EU; 2) willingness may not be enough as a state’s scarce capabilities could obstacle implementation on the ground; and 3) the EU should strike the balance between promoting security at its doorstep and supporting autocratic regimes. The paper concludes that endorsing SSR in the region could reinforce the connection between CFSP and ENP, therefore contributing to a holistic approach in EU external action.
Federica Pesce . email@example.com
College of Europe Alumnus
Currently international trade and development expert based in Tunisia, Federica Pesce is an alumna from the College of Europe, where she specialised in EU international relations and diplomacy. She holds a Franco-German MA from Sciences Po Paris and the Free University of Berlin in European Affairs and a BA from Sciences Po and the Lebanese American University in Middle Eastern Studies. In 2014 she received the European Policy Centre Award for the best Master Thesis on Europe in the World for her work on energy security in the EU neighbourhood.