Rule of Law
The new security threats do not recognize state borders. Transnational organised crime, corruption and money-laundering, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings, environmental crime, cybercrime, fraud and counterfeiting... The EU institutions work to tackle these security threats home and abroad. The CSDP Missions are one tool to strengthen the law enforcement across the borders. Thus, to strengthen CSDP Missions - their working structures and processes - indirectly supports the joint fight against crime.
In post-conflict situations a number of philosophical questions are bound to pop up: Institutionalisation before liberalisation? Stabilisation or rule of law first? Reconciliation with or without transitional justice? International interventions can never be neutral vis-à-vis such questions. Political decisions must be taken. Priorities need to be set.
We will pursue locally owned rights-based approaches to the reform of the justice, security and defence sectors, and support fragile states in building capacities, including cyber. We will work through development, diplomacy, and CSDP, ensuring that our security sector reform efforts enable and enhance our partners’ capacities to deliver security within the rule of law. We will cooperate with other international players, coordinating our work on capacity-building with the UN and NATO in particular. EU Global Strategy 2016
European Union may be younger actor in the field than the United Nations or the OSCE, but already has 20 years of experience in setting up crisis management missions, evaluating their performance and eventually scaling them down and closing them. In the field of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) civilian operations focus on supporting beneficiary states with strengthening rule of law including police and justice reforms, border management and fight against organised crime. The mandate of each Mission is tailor-made to the context on the ground. The mandate approved by the Member States needs to be later operationalised in the Mission, tools for the continuous monitoring of its implementation have to be in place.
The EU has improved its monitoring and evaluation tools over the years (check my chapter 5), but a lot can still be done to improve the impact of CSDP Missions on the ground as well as its assessment. Benchmarking and progress implementation monitoring in the complex conflict and post-conflict situations need to be improved. Participation of local institutions give an important addition to the internal reporting. Lessons identified by “critical friends” should also be more closely listened to (check the CMI methodology on Critical Friends).
In addition, experts sent to the EU Missions require mainstreamed training to ensure quality advice from the EU side. Projects such as EUPCST, ENTRi and now its follow-up EUCTI have been established to create more unified training environment. Too often still, seconded experts are left alone to decipher the deeper meaning of their job descriptions and related mandate paragraphs. This problem was the inspiration behind the publishing of The CSDP Handbook on Advisory Support to Tackling Organised Crime (Klikunas & Tamminen, 2019), which remains one of its kind giving practical tips to expert on how to approach his work not from an operational point of view (as in the home country) but from a strategic point of view (required in advisory missions).
Important work to support the EU institutions to improve the processes and structures is done by the newly established European Centre of Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management in Berlin; training institutions such as ESDC, CMC Finland, Folke Bernadotte Academy and ZIF; research institutes like EUISS and think tanks and NGOs like RIOC, EPLO and SaferGlobe. Research done in other networks such as EPON feed into the better CSDP work also.
I joined the EU Rule of Law Mission, EULEX Kosovo, in 2008 (selected in the first CfC) as a Reporting Officer. Since that first deployment, I have been building upon my expertise in CSDP monitoring and reporting structures. I have published policy relevant advice in the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, CMC Finland and EUISS; I have participated in an inter-agency expert team working on the impact of crisis management missions and I have joined a network of like-minded evaluation experts, the Phoenix network, contributing to a joint book Complexity Thinking for Peacebuilding Practice and Evaluation. I addition, I have been working to improve the reporting structures both in EULEX Kosovo (2008-2010 and 2013-15) as well as in EUAM Ukraine (2017-2019) where I led the Planning, Coordination and Cooperation Component and worked on an innovative online progress tracking tool.
I strongly believe that further participation of local beneficiaries in providing input to the processes of assessing mission activities and identified lessons, would directly improve the planning processes. The attempts with the EULEX Kosovo Compact Reports (around 2013-15) were a good, even complicated, example of an attempt to strengthen local ownership of joint objectives. The Missions cannot be evaluated by outsiders (except the European Court of Auditors). The reporting process is confidential and the internal reports and strategic reviews feed Member States, who ultimately decide on possible mandate changes. There is no need to change the current reporting structures, but listening in addition and in a more structured way to Mission’s “critical friends” such as other international actors, NGOs and journalists would strengthen the evaluation processes. As for now, such consultations do take place when a strategic review is conducted on a Mission. It is important to consider continuous participatory evaluation in the Mission context of multi-year strategic advisory and capacity-building activities. Evaluation is a continuous process of monitoring of both activities and progress over time, learning, and improving. Effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of Mission activities should not only be evaluated in relation to the expected outcomes linked with OPLAN benchmarking tables, but also in terms of softer and less tangible results such as the quality and sustainability. Such an approach requires local input as well as critical views from other partners.
On my free time, I continue working on thematics that could improve CSDP processes. Our Organised Crime Handbook is one example and the NGO, in which I serve as President of the Board, Research Initiative on Organised Crime (RIOC) is a network of specialists in rule of law matters (from criminal law to policing). Many have experience working abroad on police or justice reforms, incl. anti-corruption. Our experience in CSDP has given us insight in the Mission needs. We use this knowledge to carry out policy relevant research to create better tools and training materials. In addition, we also cooperate with the OSCE and UN when ever possible. RIOC is a small but agile actor that can prepare customized training and research products.
During 2019-2020 in a Finnish Government funded project, I prepared a research on corruption indicators that would be useful in the Finnish context. Finland is known for low corruption levels. Again in 2021 Finland kept its 3rd place in the Corruption Perception Index. However, this does not mean that Finland is corruption free. On the contrary, Finland suffers from structural corruption that is difficult to unveil. I also serve as the Vice-President of Transparency International Finland. We keep highlighting how important it is to remain vigilant. My research report on comprehensive corruption assessment can only be accessed in Finnish. The summary of the findings of the whole project can be read in English: IMMEASURABLE CORRUPTION? Indicators for monitoring corruption in Finland (KORSI) project and its key results.
Within RIOC, work on anti-corruption has continued through several blog entries. While I called for better tools to recognize corruption in the Finnish society and to set pro-active anti-corruption policies, Fanni Rantamaa draw the attention to the cost of corruption, Sergii Rybchenko to corruption prevention, Noora Välimäki to its definitions and Panos Kostakos to the AI tools for its detection.
Since the writing of the The CSDP Handbook on Advisory Support to Tackling Organised Crime, RIOC has continued working on better tools to fight organised crime. The first training/workshop was held in Finland in 2019, but further training is foreseen in post-Covid times. In addition, RIOC supported the Guardia Civil University in preparing a training assessment on organised crime for the EU civilian crisis missions. Also, RIOC keeps a close eye on the EU response to organised crime (see report from the European Parliamentary Research Service), the implementation of the new EU Security Union Strategy of July 2020, preparations of the next Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment to be published by Europol in spring 2021 and the EU Strategy on Organised Crime to be published by the Commission after SOCTA. It is not only important to give strategic advice to third countries on better strategies but facing the current challenges the EU and its member states need more and more strategic and goal-oriented approach. In Finland, the first ever anti-corruption strategy will hopefully be approved this spring, while a national strategy to fight organised crime is still missing – just as is a national SOCTA that it could be based on.
You can find RIOC at www.rioc.eu
Do not hesitate to contact us at RIOC at info(at)rioc.eu We would be delighted to find ways to cooperate on these matters!