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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Conflict prevention, peace and stability

The EU responds rapidly to crises, builds peace and helps to prevent conflict around the world. It works with partner countries and organisations on effective responses to global and transregional threats to security and peace.

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Key Facts: 

  • The EU has financed more than 1,000 crisis response and conflict prevention projects carried out worldwide over the past 10 years under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. Several of these actions have helped alleviate tensions, prevent conflict through mediation, broker and implement peace agreements, reintegrate persons involved in conflict into society, and ensure transitional justice and accountability.
  • The crisis response and conflict prevention actions are carried out around the world, in conflict zones, in post-conflict environments and in emerging crisis settings in a fast and flexible manner. 
  • The EU is working with 62 partner countries in the context of eight regional Centres of Excellence to address chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear related threats to safety and security;
  • Since 2013, the EU has funded 114 projects aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism.

Since 2014, the European Commission has supported stability and peace worldwide through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, established by Regulation (EU) No 230/2014. This includes both short and mid-term actions to prevent conflict, respond to crises and build peace, as well as longer-term actions to address global, transregional and emerging threats. An amendment to include Capacity Building in support of Security and Development  was adopted on 12 December 2017 (Regulation (EU) No 2017/2306).

As of 2021, similar activities continue under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – ‘Global Europe', under its thematic and rapid response pillars.

The role of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Crisis Response, Conflict Prevention and Peace Building

The last decade has been marked by a challenging global environment for peace and stability, including in the EU’s neighbourhood. Intra-state conflicts are on the rise and involve a growing number of non-state actors. 

The EU works to address the root causes of conflict and instability, including weak rule of law and lack of good governance frameworks, and promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, through an integrated approach.

The Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission is in charge of identifying, formulating and carrying out interventions for crisis response, conflict prevention, peacebuilding and crisis preparedness. It does so in close partnership with the EU Delegations, the European External Action Service and other Commission services, thereby contributing to an integrated approach to conflicts, one of the main objectives of the Global Strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy. 

The Service employs a team of specialised policy planners for this purpose, working both at Headquarters and in the FPI’s Regional Teams. The FPI Regional Teams are located in the EU Delegations in Brazil (covering the Americas), Kenya (covering Eastern and Southern Africa), Lebanon (covering the Middle East and North Africa), Senegal (covering Western Africa), and Thailand (covering Asia and the Pacific). Implementing partners predominantly include NGOs, the UN and other international organisations, EU Member State agencies as well as regional and sub-regional organisations.

Responding to Global and Transregional Threats

Terrorism, violent extremism and organised crime are affecting countries and societies around the world. At the same time, struggles for control over critical infrastructure and technology, threats to the safety and security of people and infrastructure linked to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances and materials, and accelerating climate change are becoming more prominent. These global and transregional threats increase the risk of instability and violent conflict and undermine recovery and development efforts, the rule of law, and peace. They are placing new demands on EU external policies.

The Service for Foreign Policy Instruments is identifying, preparing and implementing longer-term actions to support partner countries outside the EU build and enhance their capacity to respond to global, transregional and emerging threats to stability, peace and security. It is providing capacity-building support and technical assistance, in particular for law enforcement, judicial and civil authorities, and promoting cooperation and exchange among these actors. Respect for human rights and the rule of law are strong components of all supported actions.

These actions require a detailed planning and consultation process. They are developed in close cooperation and coordination with the European External Action Service, other European Commission services, EU Member States and relevant Member States' organisations, partner countries and, where appropriate, with other donors. They complement EU engagement at bilateral and regional levels and are framed and guided by EU foreign policy objectives set out in the EU Global Strategy and other policy documents and legislation on security related issues.

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Capacity building in support of security and development 

Capacity building for development and security for development allows using the European Union budget to finance working with military actors in exceptional and clearly delimitated circumstances, to implement civilian tasks in support of development.
Capacity building for security and development can only be used where three conditions are fulfilled at the same time: 

  1. requirements cannot be met by recourse to non-military actors; 
  2. there is a threat to the existence of functioning state institutions or to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and state institutions cannot cope with that threat; 
  3. there is agreement between the partner country concerned and the EU that these first two conditions are indeed fulfilled. 

This initiative strictly excludes financing of recurrent military expenditure, procurement of arms or ammunition and funding of training specifically designed to contribute to the fighting capacity of armed forces.

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Instrument contributing to stability and peace - map of projects

* The map contains information on the EU projects in the areas of crisis response, conflict prevention and peace building. It doesn’t cover the EU projects related to responding to global and transregional threats.