Introduction The European Union’s role in the post-Cold War era has expanded from a minor international actor to a key player in pan-European security. Conflict prevention – a policy designed to avert, or to mitigate, the destruction caused by violent conflict – is an external relations objective adopted by the EU that has accelerated this development. Conflict prevention (inclusive of crisis management)1 has become the driving force behind the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and features prominently in the 2003 European Security Strategy and in the European Neighbourhood Policy. EU development aid contributes to the promotion of democracy and stability, and EU civilian and military missions have been acting to prevent and manage conflict across Europe and the world.