Council of the EU reaches a political agreement on the European Peace Facility

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is pictured during a press conference before the Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union Summit in Berlin, 14.12.2020.

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The EU Council on Friday reached a political agreement on the European Peace Facility (EPF), the new global off-budget instrument that will finance external action having military or defence implications, under the common foreign and security policy, with the aim to prevent conflict, preserve peace and strengthen international security and stability.

Thanks to the new European Peace Facility the EU will be able to contribute to the resilience of partner countries in Africa and the neighbourhood. The EPF is a fundamental investment in peace and stability that will allow the EU and its partners to effectively and flexibly address international crises .

In line with the 2016 EU Global Strategy the objective of the fund is to improve not only the EU’s ability to prevent and swiftly respond to crises and conflicts in those areas experiencing the most urgent and critical security threats, but also to empower partner countries and regional and international organisations to do the same. It will improve the EU’s capacity to strengthen the ability of third countries to prevent and respond to crises and better protect their own populations.

The new “off-budget” instrument will have a budget of EUR 5 billion for the period 2021-2027 and be financed by annual contributions from EU member states. It will be part of a EU comprehensive approach to the financing of external action together with, among others, the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI).

The Facility will allow the EU, for the first time, to complement the activities of its CSDP missions and operations in host countries with assistance measures, which may include the supply of military and defence related equipment, infrastructure or assistancerequested by third countries, regional or international organisations. Assistance measures will be embedded in a clear and coherent political strategy and will be accompanied by thorough risk assessments and strong safeguards.

The EPF will supersede the existing African Peace Facility, the main instrument used by the EU to contribute to the financing of operations led by the African Union or African regional organisations. The EPF will now allow the EU to contribute to the financing of peace support operations led by partners anywhere in the world.

In addition, the Facility will replace the Athena mechanism, previously used to finance operational common costs of individual EU military CSDP missions and operations (i.e. HQ, personnel transport, force protection costs etc.).

The setting up of a European Peace Facility was originally proposed in June 2018 by the then High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in order to amplify the EU crisis management toolbox that contributes to enhancing the EU as a more effective and responsive global security provider.

In 2016 the Global Strategy on the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy provided the Union’s framework for united and responsible external engagement in partnership with others, to advance its values and interests in security, democracy, prosperity and a rules-based global order, including human rights and the rule of law.


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