The EU maintains diplomatic relations with nearly all countries in the world and undertakes a range of actions with strategic partners, key international players, and emerging and developing powers. Working alongside the European External Action Service (EEAS), the service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) is responsible for operational expenditures in the crucial area of EU external action.
The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) is the EU's financial instrument to respond quickly and flexibly to conflicts and crisis. IcSP provides funding for short and mid-term actions on conflict prevention, crisis response and peacebuilding around the world, and longer term-assistance to projects linked to global and trans-regional threats.
Restrictive measures, or sanctions, are one of the EU's tools to promote the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). These include safe-guarding the EU's values, its fundamental interests and security; consolidating and supporting democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law; preserving peace; preventing conflicts and strengthening international security.
Election observation is a vital EU activity aiming to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide. It contributes to strengthening democratic institutions, building public confidence in electoral processes, helping to deter fraud, intimidation and violence. It also reinforces other key EU foreign policy objectives, in particular peace-building.
The European Union is committed to preventing international trade in minerals from intensifying or perpetuating conflict, with an aim to stop profits from trading minerals being used to fund armed conflicts. Throughout 2018 the EU holds the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, aimed to ensure sustainable and conflict-free trade in diamonds.