chapter  9
‘Building peace from the outside’: the role of the EU in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Pages 22

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the impact of the European Union’s (EU’s) peace-building and state-building interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since the early 2000s. The case of the EU in the DRC is relevant both in its own right and for the purposes of this book. For a long time, the EU has been described as an economic giant, but a political dwarf, with the conclusion that its security policy has been weak. Since around the turn of the century, the EU nevertheless has begun to demonstrate a considerable amount of activity in the security field, and the EU is increasingly aspiring to be a global security actor and peace-builder. According to the European Security Strategy (ESS) from 2003, ‘Europe should be ready to share in the responsibility for global security and in building a better world’ (European Union 2003: 1). The DRC is a country where the EU ostensibly has sought to play a role in ‘building a better world’. For this purpose, the EU has not only developed a strong relationship with the DRC in terms of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, but it has also designed five civil and military missions in the country since 2003. Along with the Balkans, the DRC is the largest ‘laboratory’ for EU state-building and crisis management (Grevi 2007: 114).