European Union External Action


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Meet Shirin, Nizar, Seiran, Diana, Yousef and Khaboor, six among the thousands of Syrians and Iraqis benefitting from projects funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

On this first International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, we pay tribute to all those around the world who lost their lives and suffered attacks because of their religion or belief. Persecution as a response to religious belief or affiliation, or lack thereof, is a violation of international law and requires joint work to combat it.

Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Millions of Yemenis suffer the consequences of intense fighting compounded with looming famine, outbreaks of epidemics, and preventable diseases.

In 1999, the EU’s Member States decided to create a common European policy on security and defence. European security and defence has now turned 20 and much progress has been achieved, in particular over the past few years. In a rapidly changing world, the EU and its Member States are actively engaged to provide stability in our neighbourhood and security within our borders. Work continues and is needed to consolidate this progress.

This is a key year for International Humanitarian Law, as 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. As the risk humanitarian workers face continues to increase, the European Union pays tribute to the commitment of those who risk their lives to deliver humanitarian aid worldwide.


On the eve of a possible agreement to end the war in Afghanistan, more than 60 people lost their lives and more than 150 were wounded in an attack targeting a wedding ceremony in Kabul. What should have been a joyous and festive occasion has been tragically taken away by this act of terror, which again targets the ethnic and religious communities of the Hazara and Shia.