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European Commission - Press release

New proposals to improve the EU's support for security and development in partner countries

Strasbourg, 5 July 2016

The European Commission and High Representative put forward today a Joint Communication on security sector reform and a legislative proposal to foster security and sustainable development in partner countries by providing more effective assistance to all security sector actors.

Today the European Commission and the High Representative Federica Mogherini proposed measures to enhance the European Union's effectiveness in supporting stability, security and development in third countries. The measures, outlined in a Joint Communication on security sector reform in partner countries and a legislative proposal to extend the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), notably foresee more comprehensive assistance for security sector actors in partner countries, including the military under exceptional circumstances, in line with the objective of achieving sustainable development.

The main aim of these new proposals is to use EU assistance more effectively and flexibly to help partners prevent or manage crises on their own. It should thus strengthen the link between security and sustainable development and contribute to ensuring the respect of the rule of law, good governance as well as enhanced civilian control and oversight over the military in third countries.

"Investing in the security of our partner countries is in the EU's and our partners' interests. We all face common challenges of terrorism, conflicts and extremism. We must empower our partners to tackle their own security, governance and stability. I recently met with Ministers of the G5 Sahel countries who confirmed that this is what they expect from us. Today's proposals will also allow us to improve our contribution to peace and stability, democracy and human rights, and inclusive development," said High Representative/ Vice-President Mogherini.

European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica,added: "Development and security go hand in hand. Sustainable development and poverty eradication require peace and security, and without sustainable development there will be no sustainable peace. This is why it is crucial for the EU to support partner countries and their people efficiently, in order to build stable, safe and resilient societies in which people can lead productive lives in peace and dignity."

Capacity building in support of security and development

Today's proposal follows up on the Joint Communication from the European Commission and the High Representative entitled "Capacity building in support of security and development" of April 2015, which identified gaps in the EU’s ability to support building the capacities of partners in the security sector.

To address this, the extension of the IcSP aims to enable the EU to provide more effective assistance to security sector actors, including military actors under exceptional circumstances, in partner countries. To help partners build their capacity to contribute to sustainable development and the achievement of peaceful and inclusive societies, assistance may cover the provision of capacity building programmes in support of security and development, including training, mentoring and advice, the provision of non-lethal equipment, infrastructure improvements and other services.

Security sector reform

The EU has long-standing experience in supporting security sector reform in partner countries, notably through its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and development cooperation.

The security sector reform framework adopted today aims to enhance the EU's effectiveness in promoting and supporting partners' efforts in making states more stable and individuals more secure, as well as in promoting the legitimacy, good governance, integrity and sustainability of partner countries' security sectors.

Long-term engagement in governance, peace and capacity building is instrumental to ensuring long-term sustainable development, and peaceful and resilient societies.


These proposals should be regarded under the framework of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which international and EU leaders endorsed in September 2015. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, specifically requests to (SDG 16.a) "strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacities at all levels, in particular in developing countries, for preventing violence and combatting terrorism and crime".

For more information

Memo/16/2408: Questions and Answers: Questions and Answers: Commission proposes measures in support of security and development in partner countries

JOINT COMMUNICATION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL Elements for an EU-wide strategic framework to support security sector reform

Regulation proposal for amending Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace


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