International Partnerships

Resilience, peace and security

Sustainable development cannot exist without peace and security. We therefore make sure to support our partner countries’ efforts to reduce their vulnerability and build their resilience and political stability. This includes helping them rebuild their capacities after a crisis.

The global security challenges of today are linked to radicalisation and violent extremism, large population and demographic movements, and climate change. These challenges know no borders and therefore require global responses.

We collaborate with the international community and our partner countries, mainly to:

  • establish real democracies based on the rule of law, with well-functioning institutions, a real separation of powers, guaranteed fundamental rights, free press, and free elections
  • foster civil administration, based on expertise only
  • prevent and fight violence, crime, torture etc. and set up efficient arms-control and disarmament measures
  • mitigate global and emerging threats, such as terrorism, cyberthreats, organised crime, and biochemical and nuclear risks
  • better deal with the aftermath of crises like wars, armed conflicts, and natural disasters, through the establishment of enhanced civil protection and emergency procedures

From fragility to resilience

The concept of fragility is multifaceted. As defined in the ‘States of Fragility’ report of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), fragility can be economic, environmental, political, societal, and security-related.

Fragile countries are more vulnerable to internal and external shocks because they lack both capacity and legitimacy to take action. We help our partner countries address their own fragilities to strengthen their resilience to shocks. We help them build their capacities and regain the trust and respect of their people.

Half of the world’s poor people live in fragile or conflict-affected countries. Poverty and security are thus closely linked to each other. This is why the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and our new European Consensus on Development both explicitly acknowledge the interdependence and mutually reinforcing nature of security and sustainable development.

Security is one of the main aspects addressed by the 16th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 16). Both conflict prevention and post-conflict stabilisation are essential to build resilience, a necessary precondition to sustainable development.

    Our action

    The EU’s action towards security and peacebuilding is a complex job shared by different services.

    Short-term assistance will usually come as an immediate answer to a crisis, in the form of humanitarian aid and civil protection, which are covered by the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department.

    At the International Cooperation and Development department, we rather focus on long-term development cooperation to help our partner countries build their capacities for lasting peace and be ready to tackle global and complex threats, such as terrorism or organised crime.

    Our work is therefore closely tied to that of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), which are under the authority of the High Representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy.

    We finance our development cooperation in the field of security and peacebuilding through several geographical instruments and through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), our main thematic tool supporting peace and security in partner countries.

    Geographical instruments

    Between 2014 and 2017, the EU spent € 6.9 billion on security-targeted projects under geographical instruments such as:

    • the European Development Fund (EDF)
    • the African Peace Facility (APF)
    • the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF)
    • the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI)
    • the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)

    Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace

    The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) is a thematic financial instrument, with a strong focus on security and peacebuilding in partner countries. It is one of the building blocks of our integrated approach to conflicts, as prescribed by the EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy.

    The IcSP foresees two types of action:

    • short-term, immediate crisis response (art. 3)
    • long-term, programmable projects
      • for assistance to conflict-prevention, peacebuilding and crisis preparedness (art. 4)
      • or to address global and transregional threats and emerging threats to international security (art. 5)

    Actions under articles 3 and 4 of the IcSP are managed by the service for Foreign Policy Instrument, while we are responsible for managing actions under article 5.

     Flagship projects we fund under the IcSP (art. 5) tackle for example:

    • money laundering and terrorism finance in the Horn of Africa
    • drug trafficking, namely along the main global cocaine routes
    • chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats

    Capacity Building in support of Security and Development

    In December 2017, the IcSP was amended and completed by a new tool: Capacity Building in support of Security and Development (CBSD).

    CBSD assistance allows us to assist military actors in partner countries to perform their security mission, in exceptional circumstances and only in cases where the military is an obvious safeguard of the conditions essential to sustainable development.

    Under the CBSD framework, we may provide assistance in the form of:

    • training in human rights, good governance, resource management etc.
    • expert advice and technical cooperation
    • provision of equipment and infrastructure improvements, such as IT-systems, protective gear, health or training facilities