Effective_Locally_owned_Beyond_the_techn.pdf

Simultaneously the eu offers unconditional political

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simultaneously, the EU offers unconditional political support to the apartheid state. If anything, this indicates that the European Union is participating in supporting and prolonging the Israeli occupation, and thus is a tacit partner in flagrant violations of international humanitarian law. (Palestinians for Dignity, 2012) This sample of “voices from below” aimed to take the analysis of EUPOL COPPS beyond the dominant technocratic discourses according to which the mission has been both effective and locally owned. This perspective, strategically silenced within the technocratic discourse, exposes the entrenchment of the EU police mission in the Palestinian governance structures. Moreover, it foregrounds the EU’s complicit role in sustaining the status quo by propping up the authoritarian rule of the PA and by extension, maintaining the Israeli occupation by proxy. The failure of the EU to alter that status of fragility and its contribution to it through the professionalization of PA’s authoritarian policing, rendered its police mission highly problematic from the perspective of many of its intended end beneficiaries. Conclusion The EU launched EUPOL COPPS in 2006 to support the emergence of an independent and democratic Palestinian state. More than a decade later, the EU considers EUPOL COPPS as one of its better missions which effectively professionalized the Palestinian police and justice sector while fully respecting the local ownership principle. In this article, we critically examined this claim by juxtaposing technocratic perspective, shared
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25 by domestic and international policy elites, with the voices from below and their everyday experience. Our article has shown that from the technocratic standpoint, which denies political reality of continued occupation and everyday insecurity of ordinary Palestinian people, the EU mission can be considered effective and locally owned. However, our fieldwork revealed a wide and striking gap between the perceptions and narratives of the international actors and local authorities on the one side and the narratives of the ordinary Palestinians on the other. From the perspective of ordinary Palestinians, the EU-supported reforms have led to the professionalization of authoritarian policing and added a new layer of human insecurity without bringing about either an independent or a democratic Palestinian state. The voices from below challenged the proclaimed successes of the local authorities and international organizations, including the EU, and questioned the building blocks and effectiveness of security reform processes and their consequences on their lives. The EU and its mission are increasingly becoming complicit in the maintenance of the status quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the current authoritarian backslide of the PA continues, the EU and its mission will be increasingly criticized for financing, professionalizing, and legitimizing a highly politicized and democratically unaccountable police force. This is a polar opposite of the EU’s foreign policy values and far from its
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  • Spring '19
  • Madam Masila
  • European Union, Palestinian Territories, Palestinian National Authority, Palestinian Authority, EUPOL COPPS

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