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Informing an Assessment of 20 Years of EU engagement in Afghanistan

09 December 2022
Image of Afghan flag - © Unsplash

The fall of Kabul following the departure of international troops after two decades of deployment marked another sea change for Afghanistan – but also for international engagement in the country. The European External Action Service (EEAS) is undertaking an assessment of EU engagement in Afghanistan over the past two decades to identify key political and operational lessons, including their relevance for other theatres.

To inform this assessment, the EUISS in collaboration with EEAS organised three roundtable discussions starting in December 2021 and ending in March 2022 that brought together senior Afghan and international policy practitioners and experts for an assessment of international support, including that of the EU, in Afghanistan over the past two decades.

In building on the findings of the first seminar, the second roundtable seminar focused on critical turning points – in the country context, the international engagement strategies, and the emerging peace process – during the second decade (2011-2021).  

The final seminar focused on emerging political and operational lessons in the areas of mediation, state-building, and democratic transition. In assuming a forward-looking perspective, the seminar further considered how the evolving geopolitical context might (re-)frame entry points for international support in Afghanistan and beyond.