European Union External Action

New European Peace Facility to boost EU action on security and defence

18/06/2018 - 19:52
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Developments in Europe's neighbourhood and beyond are a constant reminder that our security is not for free. Supporting its Member States, the EU is a key player when it comes to protecting Europe and its citizens. This is why on 13 June High Representative Mogherini proposed a new, major funding mechanism, the European Peace Facility (EPF), to underpin joint action in the area of security and defence.

The proposed new EU multi-annual budget for the period 2021-2027 substantially boosts funding for security and defence. The European Peace Facility is an additional funding mechanism proposed to fall outside the framework of the Multiannual Financial Framework. Worth €10.5 billion over the seven-year period, the EPF is designed to offer more flexible and faster funding for security and defence at European level in comparison with what can currently be done within the limits of the Union's budget. For example in this way EU military missions and operations could be deployed more rapidly and have better access to training, infrastructure or military equipment.

Why is a European Peace Facility needed?

  • Global challenges have not only increased in recent years, they have become more complex, multidimensional, and rapidly evolving. To effectively address them, the European Union needs to strengthen its range of external actions with efficient and flexible instruments. Action to help prevent conflict, build peace and strengthen international security is critical.
  • Diplomacy, humanitarian support or development aid are effective and well known instruments of the EU. However, sometimes quick and decisive military action is required first and foremost to save lives and prevent further conflict. Hard power has to complement soft power.
  • Helping to prevent or contain conflict in our neighbourhood is a safe way to increase security for Europe and its citizens. Therefore the European Peace Facility would also increase flexibility to provide support and assistance to partner countries.
  • Unlike other funding instruments, the EPF could support activities globally without geographical restrictions.


Not all new but more integrated and better

It is important to note that the decision on how much each EU Member State spends or invests in defence remains a national competence. The EPF will not change this but will allow Member States to act faster and more effectively together.

In order to enhance the coherence of the EU’s actions, the new facility is proposed to absorb currently-existing off-budget mechanisms, namely the Athena mechanism and the African Peace Facility, devoted to security and defence.


European Peace Facility will come in addition to the European Defence Fund

The European Peace Facility is not the only new funding instrument in the field of security and defence. The European Commission already proposed earlier the establishment of a European Defence Fund (13 billion Euro over seven years, 2021 - 2027). It will coordinate, supplement and amplify national investments in defence. The objective is to use national defence spending more efficiently, make the European defence industry more competitive in the global market, equip national military better and strengthen the EU's role as a global research hub.

Rapid Progress on security and defence since 2016

High Representative Mogherini submitted in 2016 the new "Global Strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy" which outlined the way forward for a higher level of ambition in the area of security and defence. Since then a whole range of important decisions has been taken. The European Peace Facility proposed now is a further important building bloc in this new architecture. The Global Strategy and subsequent action taken are a response to the demand for a larger EU role in security and defence by European citizens and our partners in the world.