The European Union’s role in the Palestinian Territories: state-building through Security Sector Reform?

The aim of this article is to shed light on the distinctive role of the EU in Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the case of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) and examine how SSR has contributed to the overall state-building project. Following the Oslo Accords, the EU engaged actively in the state-building project in the OPTs taking a number of initiatives on the ground. Since then security has been a key issue in all Israeli–Palestinian agreements and has also became synonymous with Palestinian statehood. The article draws upon literature on state-building and SSR and its central aim is to examine the distinctive initiatives that the EU has taken in order to help the Palestinian Authority (PA) reform both its security and judiciary sector as part of its broader state-building strategy towards the OPTs, as well as provide explanations on why these policies had limited impact.