Common Foreign and Security Policy, preserving peace and security

Advance party of EUTM Mali arrives in Bamako

Common Foreign and Security Policy, preserving peace and security

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union, established in 1993 with the Maastricht Treaty, aims to preserve peace and strengthen international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Key facts:

  • The Common Foreign and Security Policy Budget finances civilian missions, EU Special Representatives, stabilisation actions as well as multilateral and bilateral non-proliferation and disarmament projects.
  • Key activities: Preparation of budgetary impact statements, approval of budget, contracting and procurement as well as representing the European Commission in the RELEX Counsellors group and in the Committee for the Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM).

The European Commission applies the Common Foreign and Security Policy budget to respond to external conflicts and crises, to build the capacity of partner countries and to protect the EU and its citizens. Under this section of the Union budget, the European Commission funds civilian stabilisation missions, EU Special Representatives, the Kosovo Specialist Chamber, actions in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament, the European Security and Defence College. The Service for Foreign Policy Instruments prepares the budget for each operation, commits and pays the funds based on the Council legal act and monitors implementation.

The Service for Foreign Policy Instruments implements the Common Foreign and Security Policy budget in close consultation with the European External Action Service, responsible for operational planning and policy direction. The Service participates actively in legal/financial and institutional negotiations and sets up the necessary financial implementation structures, prepares and approves budgets and represents the Commission when Member States discuss actions funded by the budget.


  • Civilian Common Security and Defence Policy missions work towards regional and international security and stability under the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. The missions aim to improve security and strengthen the rule of law, supporting third countries in the fight against terrorism, people smuggling and organised crime, strengthening police and judicial authorities and monitoring compliance with international agreements.
  • European Union Special Representatives promote the EU’s policies and interests in troubled regions and countries and play an active role in efforts to consolidate peace and to promote stability and the rule of law. They are independent natural persons, appointed by the Council and entrusted with a mandate in relation to a particular policy issue.
  • The European Union funds Non-Proliferation and Disarmament activities under its Common Foreign and Security Policy budget to contribute to the universalisation and effective implementation of international treaties, conventions and agreements addressing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, including their delivery mechanisms, and of conventional arms. The latter measures target the illicit accumulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons and aim to implement effective controls on international arms transfers, thereby contributing to peace, security and stability worldwide and to the safety of European citizens.