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Abstract

Since the Oslo Accords came into force in 1993, the European Union (EU) and its individual member-states have invested billions of Euros, with a view to establishing the basis for an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. As Israel's colonization of the Palestinian West Bank has progressed, Palestinian statehood has become little more than a myth. As the state-building process has atrophied, securitization has found a renewed impetus, being elevated at the expense of initiatives that seek to promote democratization. This article argues that, far from being a neutral process grounded within the building of capacities, Security Sector Reform (SSR) has strengthened the foundations of Palestinian authoritarianism. In focusing upon the development of the EU's police mission in the West Bank (EUPOL COPPS), this article argues that EU-sponsored 'reform' has contributed directly to the 'professionalization' of Palestinian authoritarianism. The article therefore suggests that the EU consistently has failed to acknowledge the political implications that extend from its technical mandate and interventions. The EU has become, to the extent that its interventions extend Israel's colonial project, part of the problem. In concluding, the article offers an assessment of the decade-long EUPOL COPPS (The European Union Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories) commitment, with a view to developing key lessons and recommendations that can inform future EU interventions.

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