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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 24 July 2012

Conflict prevention, crisis management and peace building: a busy year for the EU Instrument for Stability

The European Commission adopted today its 2011 report on the Instrument for Stability (IfS), a key European Union financial instrument for external assistance.

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, stated: "As we have seen in 2011 more than any other year, the IfS is an important tool with which the European Union can help prevent or respond to crises and emerging threats globally. It is an integral part of our comprehensive approach to external relations and crisis management, particularly in dealing with the threats of political instability and insecurity due to conflict, terrorism, organised crime and natural or man-made disasters. In the longer term it allows us to help our international partners create a safer, more stable environment in which to pursue their development goals".

The (fifth) annual IfS report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the regions shows how, in 2011, the mobilisation of EUR 282 million has enabled the EU to prevent and respond to crises and threats worldwide.

Crisis response

With new and ongoing actions in some 50 countries, the EU has used the IfS to respond rapidly to events around the world, such as the unfolding Arab Spring, where it helped strengthening participation of civil society in the transition processes, including through a particular focus on the role of women, in line with the EU's commitments in the Joint Communication on 'A Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean'. In the Horn of Africa the IfS, as part of EU and other humanitarian relief efforts, assisted early recovery programmes and continued support was given to countries in the region engaged with piracy trials linked to the EU's CSDP Atalanta counter-piracy naval operation.

Pre- and post-crisis capacity-building

Under the Peace-building Partnership programmes, work on crisis preparedness, crisis prevention and peace-building continued in cooperation with the EU's international, regional and sub-regional partners as well as with civil society players. This included structured dialogue with civil society and capacity-building of non-state actors in selected countries, as well as cooperation with UN bodies on mediation and dialogue.

Trans-regional threats and CBRN risks

Within the context of tackling global and trans-regional threats to peace and security, efforts in 2011 focused on: capacity-building through programmes aimed at strengthening the capacities of law enforcement and judicial and civil authorities involved in the prevention of and the fight against terrorism and organised crime; the effective control of illegal trade and transit and building capacities for the protection of critical infrastructure (including maritime routes). Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) programmes helped mitigate risks related to accidental, natural or malevolent CBRN issues and have extended geographical coverage to 40 new countries in addition to those of the former Soviet Union.

Strength to strength

In its fifth year of operation, and with a budget that has more than doubled from an amount of EUR 139 million in 2007 to EUR 282 million in 2011, the Instrument for Stability has demonstrated its robustness and capacity to contribute to EU responses to a wide range of crisis and other threats and challenges around the world. Full details of all new and ongoing actions can be found in the annexes to the report.

The report can be downloaded here:

Contacts :

Michael Mann (+32 2 299 97 80)

Maja Kocijancic (+32 2 298 65 70)

Eamonn Prendergast (+32 2 299 88 51)

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