Yesterday the EU adopted the European Peace Facility, an off-budget fund of approximately €5 billion for the period 2021-2027. The facility will allow the EU, for the first time, to complement the activities of its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations in host countries with assistance measures - including the supply of lethal weaponry. Although this initiative might give the EU more flexibility, autonomy and leverage, there are lots of counterproductive risks.
Fernando Aguiar, BIC Strategic Adviser on Conflict and EU Politics said: “We from the BIC have concerns about the adopted instrument, especially on the components “training and equipment for national armies in third countries” and the EU’s ability to fund military operations – including the supply of lethal weaponry. By implementing these initiatives in countries with high levels of institutional fragility and low levels of accountability, without any substantial long-term capacity-building, the EU will risk further enabling military-backed violence and civilian casualties as a result. Overall, the EU’s ultimate aim to enhance its ability to prevent conflict and preserve peace is undermined by the assumption that more weapons are needed for security and stability.”
As the BIC has previously argued, if the EU wants to positively impact stability, it should ensure the European Peace Facility is used tackle horizontal inequalities and social exclusion, resource competition, and conflict resolution, in parallel with efforts to tackle weak fiscal defence transparency and accountability. A comprehensive risk mitigation strategy must be put in place by the EU to avoid making counterproductive investments and worsening conflict situations around the world.