The most substantial goals of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), adopted in December 2007, are enhanced political dialogue on peace and security issues and the realisation of a professional, African-led military infrastructure by June 2010. Progress towards this so–called Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is critical to the overall success of the entire Africa-EU partnership, given the threat that continuing conflict poses to achieving fundamental political, economic and social development goals. In order to explore what has been achieved so far and assess remaining challenges for meeting the 2010 APSA deadline, the Europe-Africa Research Network (EARN) organised a conference in Lisbon on 26 November. A unique feature of the meeting, which also discussed the partnership’s broader role in conflict prevention, management and resolution, was the involvement of senior military personnel from Portugal.