Regional Organisations and the Responsibility to Protect: The Case of the European Union
1 May 2017 - 30 April 2018
PI/s in Exeter: Dr Julia Schmidt
Funding awarded: £ 2,566
Sponsor(s): British International Studies Association
About the research
Under the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), states hold the primary responsibility to protect their population from serious harm. In case a state is unable or unwilling to do so, the responsibility is shared with the International community and might require a timely and decisive response, including the use of force. The development of the R2P is still ongoing and its precise nature, content and scope are debated.
At the World Summit Outcome in 2005, a narrow and deep design of the R2P has been adopted signifying that the concept only applies to four crimes - genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The 2005 World Summit Outcome further specified that the response to these crimes should include 'appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII' of the UN Charter, and 'collective action' in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter.
In the 2011 Report by the UN Secretary General on 'The Role of Regional and Sub-Regional Arrangements in Implementing the Responsibility to Protect' regional organisations have been assigned with a special responsibility to contribute to the R2P in relation to their own membership and their own region. Seen from this perspective, the EU represents a rather peculiar regional actor that has expressed its support to the R2P through a series of political statements.
The research project will investigate the EU'·s own interests in the R2P through the conduct of thematic interviews with representatives of the European Parliament, with representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and with representatives of 'selected European member states, including the UK and Germany.