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European Commission - Press release

EU to step up its support to partners to tackle security challenges

Brussels, 28 April 2015

The European Commission and the High Representative presented today proposals on how to help partner countries and regional organisations to prevent and manage all types of security crises using a full range of EU and Member States’ instruments. The Communication recognizes the EU should provide partner countries with efficient support so that they can build the capacity to take care of their own security and development. This follows President Juncker's political priority No. 9 to make Europe a stronger global actor. The Communication identifies the current gaps and presents a number of proposals in order to better combine existing EU policies and funding instruments. It also suggests how to adapt current instruments to new threats and challenges such as terrorism and organised crime. The Communication contributes to further strengthening the EU's comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises as well as to addressing the root causes of fragility and insecurity in partner countries.

"With these new proposals, we want to help our partners tackling challenges related to terrorism, conflicts, trafficking and extremism. Empowering partners to take security and stabilisation into their own hands is in the interest of their development, but also in the interest of international stability, including peace and security in Europe", said HRVP Federica Mogherini.

"We need to mutually reinforce our interventions in the field of security and development. We cannot support our partners in fighting poverty without security, while without fighting poverty there can be no sustainable peace," added Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development.

The strategy document (a Communication) envisages supporting more effectively partners’ security capacity-building by making more of the current instruments, inside and outside the EU budget, and by improving coordination and coherence in the EU’ and Member States’ approach to security and development. It also proposes to consider the practical feasibility of:

-      adapting the African Peace Facility to address its limitations

-      establishing a new facility linking peace, security and development in the framework of one or more of the existing instruments

-      setting up a new instrument dedicated to security capacity-building in partner countries.

This could cover for example the provision of ambulances, force protection equipment or communication means to military forces in countries where Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions are already giving training and advice, but where their effectiveness is hampered by a lack of basic means. The Communication does not cover lethal weapons, which is not the type of equipment that the EU provides.

This also builds on the lessons learnt from existing EU operations and missions active in third countries as part of the EU Common Security and Defence policy, such as the EU Training Mission in Mali or in Somalia.

Next Steps

This Communication will be discussed by EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs at their Council meeting on May 18 in view of preparing the European Council in June which will put European Defence policy high on the political agenda. The Summit is expected to provide a political commitment and further guidance on how to address the security-development nexus more effectively.

For more information

MEMO/15/4870 Questions and Answers: the new EU strategy on capacity building of partner countries and regional organisations in support of security and developmen:


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