The EUPM Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Is the EU a Human Security Provider?

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Efstathios Fakiolas, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Corinth, Greece

    The paper seeks to shed light on the EU as a human security provider, an emerging issue-area of inquiry that records a relatively growing academic literature. It tries to examine whether and the way human security is featured in the EU’s ESDP mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). It assesses the extent to which the record of the mission is consistent with a distinctive human security perspective, in areas where human freedom from fear has for many years now been at stake. Our main finding is that the EUPM mission can be depicted as establishing a sense of security, not as being directed by a fully-fledged doctrine of human security. Contrary to public rhetoric and the wording of several official documents, experience in BiH suggests that the EU refrains from turning intentions and declarations into reality. In essence, it appears reluctant or hesitant to take up on priority the translation of human security discourse into praxis. But broadly speaking, this by no means cancels out the value of EU commitment to the cause. Without being officially adopted, human security might perfectly serve as a catchy, complementary political platform to set and portray a kind of course for the EU; or, in other words, to inform a grand strategic vision, in order to substantiate and communicate the crux of its leading role in world politics. On that count, it might be seen as a guiding objective destined to act as a binding cord that connects the ESDP to other clusters of EU external policies. In principle, human security could progressively evolve into a prime driving perspective behind EU efforts to bring the whole of its foreign, security and defense actions together on a common political board on its way towards a single, united polity.