BRUSSELS, Belgium — The EU has equipped a new financial instrument that will cover all its external actions that have military or defence implications under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
The Council on Monday, adopted a decision establishing the European Peace Facility (EPF), an off-budget fund worth approximately €5 billion for the period 2021-2027, to be financed through contributions from EU member states.
The ultimate aim of the EPF is to enhance the EU’s ability to prevent conflict, preserve peace and strengthen international stability and security. It will do so by allowing the EU to better help partner countries, either by supporting their peace-keeping operations or by helping increase the capability of their armed forces to ensure peace and security on their national territory, as well as through broader actions of a military/defence nature in support of CFSP objectives.
“Lasting peace can only be built by investing in international stability and security. The EU has the willingness and, as of today, the right financial tools to do so. The European Peace Facility will allow us to tangibly support our partner countries in addressing shared security challenges,” Augusto Santos Silva, minister of foreign affairs of Portugal.
The facility will allow the EU, for the first time, to complement the activities of its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations in host countries with assistance measures. These measures may include supplying military and defence related equipment, infrastructure or assistance, at the request of third countries or regional or international organisations. The assistance measures will be embedded in a clear and coherent political strategy and will be accompanied by thorough risk assessments and strong safeguards.
The new facility is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to the financing of external action, which aims to shape a coherent, comprehensive and coherent EU security policy and create synergies with other policies and instruments, such as the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI-Global Europe), including its Capacity Building for Security and Development dimension.
Since 2004, the EU’s involvement in CSDP military missions and operations has been funded through the ATHENA mechanism. This will be replaced by the EPF, which will enhance the scope of common costs, thereby allowing for more rapid deployment and improved flexibility and predictability. The operational part of the EPF will remain embedded in the Council.
Until now EU support could only be provided to African-led peace support operations – i.e. operations led by the African Union or by African regional organisations. This was achieved through the African Peace Facility (AFP). The EPF will overcome this shortcoming and broaden the geographical scope of EU intervention, as the EU will now be able to contribute to the financing of military peace support operations and assistance measures for our partners anywhere in the world.