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Common foreign and security policy

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

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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.
  • A flexible management of the budget allows actions to rapidly respond to unforeseen geopolitical events and developments on the ground.
  • More than ten EU Common Security and Defense Policy civilian missions in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with over 2,000 persons involved, have been deployed over the last 10 years.

The European Commission uses the Common Foreign and Security Policy budget to respond in a rapid and flexible manner to external conflicts and crises, to build the capacity of partner countries and to protect the EU and its citizens. Under its Common Foreign and Security Policy, 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, ensures the funding based on the Council legal act and monitors implementation.

The EU funds the following activities under its Common Foreign and Security Policy budget:

  • Civilian Common Security and Defence Policy missions that work towards regional and international security and stability. 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 who 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.
  • Non-Proliferation and Disarmament activities that 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 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.

The role of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

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 the 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.