chapter  3
21 Pages

The EU’s Growing Engagement in the Sahel

From Development Aid to Military Coordination
WithAlexander Mattelaer

This chapter proposes to take stock of the growing engagement of the EU in the Sahel and to offer an assessment of its logic. It explores the broad context required for understanding the geopolitical dynamics of the Sahel region. The chapter provides an overview of the EU's policy responses to the challenges the region faces. This is organized around the adoption of the EU's Sahel Strategy in 2011. It then zooms in the implosion of the Malian state that was triggered by the insecurity fallout from the conflict in Libya. The most prominent strand of EU engagement in the Sahel with historical roots stretching back to the first Yaound Convention of 1963 is that of development cooperation. In methodological terms, this chapter draws heavily on an analysis of European policy documents and a series of research interviews conducted in the context of a study undertaken earlier at the request of the European Parliament.