Syria at War

Five Years On

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This report focuses on socioeconomic ramifications of the conflict in Syria five years on; it examines the European Union’s humanitarian cooperation with Syria and region, the flow of refugees and migrants to Syria’s neighbours and Europe, and the impact of the unilateral economic measures on the Syrian people. It also identifies guiding principles and key critical steps for post-conflict Syria.



The international perspective: What can we do?

The former United Nations envoy to Syria, Mr. Kofi Annan, launched the first international initiative for a political solution to the conflict in June 2012. It was followed by the Geneva II Conference on Syria in 2014 and more talks in 2016. In the meantime, an international coalition of Western countries and the Russian Federation launched separate military air campaigns in the country, each with different goals. A political solution will ultimately depend, at least in part, on those external powers. A flicker of hope came with a ceasefire declared at the end of February 2016, based on Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) and negotiated by the International Syria Support Group, in which regional and world powers have a presence. That paved the way for a new round of peace talks in Geneva in March 2016, but the political questions discussed there are beyond the scope of this paper. In this section, we will carry out socioeconomic analysis and examine policy options for the European Union (EU) and, in broader terms, the wider international community.


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