Land in sight? The EU Comprehensive Approach towards Somalia


  • Eva Hagström Frisell
  • Magdalena Tham Lindell
  • Emma Skeppström

Publish date: 2012-07-05

Report number: FOI-R--3462--SE

Pages: 61

Written in: Swedish


  • European Union
  • EU
  • CSDP
  • Comprehensive Approach
  • Africa
  • African security
  • African Union
  • AU
  • Somalia
  • Horn of Africa
  • EUSR
  • Operation Centre
  • EUTM Somalia
  • EUNAVFOR Atalanta
  • EUCAP Nestor
  • development assistance
  • humanitarian assistance


The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse the EU Comprehensive Approach towards Somalia. The report also identifies factors that influence the future of the EU engagement on the Horn of Africa and especially the CSDP operations. Somalia as the ultimate example of an EU Comprehensive Approach has been accentuated. This approach has developed gradually and eventually grown into a common framework. Coordination between different actors within the EU has improved since the Lisbon Treaty was adopted. The Coordination between the EU External Action Service and the Commission is however still insufficient. The balance between military and civilian initiatives might also need to be adjusted to decrease the emphasis on military operations. In particular, the approach towards operation Atalanta might need to be reconsidered. The EU Comprehensive Approach also depends on well-functioning coordination with the rest of the international community. Several factors influence the future of the EU engagement on the Horn of Africa. Internally, the question is what role the new Strategic Framework and the EUSR will play. The Framework has so far not had any major impact but will hopefully gain in importance when new policies and action plans are developed. The EUSR is expected to play an important role as the Spokesperson of the EU in the region. Critical factors in Somalia will also affect the development of the CSDP operations, in particular the ongoing political process, the need for capacity building within the state institutions and the trend of increasing the diplomatic footprint in Mogadishu. Among the missions, the future of EUTM is especially influenced by the political development in Somalia.