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Peace building and conflict prevention are at the heart of EEAS action. The EU aims to “promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples” (TEU Art 3(1) as amended by the Lisbon Treaty) and to “preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security” (Article 21(2)).
The EU is the world's largest trading partner and aid donor, a key contributor to international organisations, a significant provider of security in its own right and in cooperation with key strategic partners.
The EU is also able to employ its wide array of external assistance instruments in support of conflict prevention and peace building. The EU is one of the biggest donors in this area.
The EU external action for the prevention of conflicts is based on:
The is a risk management tool for upstream conflict prevention. It addresses conflict risks before they lead to violence. It is designed to close the gap between early warning and early action by engaging EU staff across headquarters and in-country in a joint assessment process that incorporates specific recommendations and follow-up for action. The EU also promotes the systematic use of conflict analysis, notably in fragile and conflict-prone countries.
Mediation is part of the EU’s on-the-ground preventive diplomacy and is a component of the EU’s conflict prevention and peace-building toolbox for conflict countries.
Based on the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities adopted in November 2009, the EU has developed its own mediation support capacity.
Actors such as EU Special Representatives and frequently engaged in mediation efforts, alongside EU Delegations and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions. These range from high political level mediation meetings to political facilitation and confidence building. The EU is also active in dialogue processes involving civil society organisations at grassroots levels, in particular through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).
The EEAS’s "Conflict prevention, Peace building and Mediation Instruments Division” supports geographic services, EU Delegations, EU Special Representatives and EEAS senior management charged with taking decisions in the pursuit of peace, peace mediation and conflict prevention.
Global Challenges and Trends in International Peace Mediation and Diplomacy: A Background Note.