The European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) was established 10 years ago. A virtual event celebrating its 10th anniversary took place at the end of January 2021, bringing together FPI staff from around the world and high-level guests including High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Ilze Juhansone, Secretary-General of the European Commission.
For the past decade, FPI has been turning EU foreign policy into action, fast and flexibly, in a policy-driven and integrated approach.
10 years ago, FPI was brought into life to implement the European Union budget when it comes to EU foreign policy and to manage the EU’s regulatory foreign policy instruments.
Under the authority of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in his capacity as Vice-President of the European Commission, the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments acts as first responder to foreign policy needs and opportunities. It contributes to achieving the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, in particular, conflict prevention and peace, democracy and the rule of law, human dignity, and leveraging the EU’s influence in the world.
FPI’s key achievements over the past 10 years
Over the past ten years, FPI helped place the EU on the map as a global peace actor, operating one of the biggest peace funds in the world. Through the actions designed and implemented, the Service has become a key player over the past ten years in conflict prevention, crisis management, mediation and peace building. It has done so also by forging close partnerships with the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and many local players and NGOs.
FPI has supported the deployment of the EU’s 10 CSDP civilian missions in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with over 2,000 persons involved. These missions express the EU’s engagement to help build security in conflict zones around the world.
FPI has financed more than 1,000 concrete crisis response and conflict prevention projects worldwide. For example, in Libya, FPI’s financial support played a crucial role in facilitating the Montreux Agreement, which paved the way for the October 2020 ceasefire agreement. In South Sudan and Nigeria humanitarian pauses and ceasefires were achieved through FPI funded mediation support projects.
The Service has pioneered putting policy and EU interests first when designing and implementing EU actions in third countries. This led to good results, influencing policymaking and brining standard setting closer to EU policies, from climate change to data protection or artificial intelligence.
Through its election observation missions, the Service contributes to upholding democracy and rule of law around the globe. In September 2020, an expert mission was deployed to Bolivia, when Latin America was struggling with Covid-19 like much of the rest of the world. Despite the pandemic and the uncertain security situation after the disputed 2019 election, FPI helped setting up an election observation mission.
Over the next years, the new European Peace Facility will contribute better to conflict management. FPI has helped in the creation of the European Peace Facility and will take up its financial responsibility to help it deliver. In addition, FPI will enhance from 2021 the EU’s capacity to act on global threats.
FPI’s 10th anniversary event
The Service marked its anniversary with a virtual event bringing together its staff in Brussels and in the five regional teams (Bangkok, Beirut, Brasilia, Dakar, Nairobi) and their antennas around the world. Ilze Juhansone, Secretary-General of the European Commission, opened the event with a keynote address. In panel discussion on FPI’s beginning and main achievements Hilde Hardeman, Director, Head of Service of FPI reminisced with high-level guests who have had a very close relationship with FPI over the years: Christian Danielsson, Head of the European Commission’s Representation to Sweden, Tung-Lai Margue, former Head of Service and Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell underlined in his address that both the EEAS and the other Commission services benefit from FPI's capacity to respond fast and flexibly to international events. ‘10 years already. 10 years of working, building partnerships, bringing experience to the international partners, building alliances, playing an important role in making multilateralism as great as it has always been and to shape a global order that works for all.’
Given the Service’s close cooperation with international organisations, key partners from UN Women, the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the UN Counter-Terrorism Office also conveyed their best wishes for the 10th anniversary of the Service and their appreciation for a continued partnership.