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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Conflict prevention, peace and stability

The EU responds rapidly to crises, builds peace and helps to prevent conflicts around the world. It works with partner countries and organisations on effective responses to global and transregional threats to security and peace.

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Key Facts: 

  • The EU has financed more than 1,000 crisis response and conflict prevention projects carried out worldwide over the past 10 years. They helped to alleviate tensions, prevent conflict through mediation, broker and implement peace agreements, reintegrate persons involved in conflict into society, and ensure transitional justice and accountability.
  • The crisis response and conflict prevention actions are carried out around the world in conflict zones, in post-conflict environments and in emerging crisis settings in a fast and flexible manner.
  • The EU is working with 63 partner countries in the context of eight regional Centres of Excellence to address chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear related threats to safety and security.
  • Since 2013, the EU has funded more than 100 projects aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism.

The EU addresses conflict and post crisis situations, as well as longer-term peace building in countries around the world under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe (NDICI-Global Europe), which came into force on 14 June 2021. Its response can include both short and mid-term actions to prevent conflict, respond to crises and build peace, as well as longer-term actions to address global, transregional and emerging threats. This approach builds on the EU’s past decade of similar work in crisis and conflict affected countries.

The role of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Crisis response, conflict prevention and peace building

The Service for Foreign Policy Instruments puts the EU’s foreign policy into action in a tangible manner. Recent years have been marked by a challenging global environment for peace and stability, including in the EU’s neighbourhood. The EU’s rapid response approach allows to address fast and flexibly unexpected needs or political opportunities in conflict or crisis situations. These can stem from a political context, a specific conflict or a man-made or natural disaster.

‘Rapid response’ actions are intended to create the conditions for improved stability and security, addressing root causes of conflict and instability, to help the affected countries taking the road to peace. This can be achieved by various approaches, such as prevention of conflict through mediation, brokering and implementing peace agreements, reintegrating persons involved in conflict into society, increasing the involvement of civil society, addressing weak rule of law, or ensuring transitional justice and accountability. Flexibility is key as each crisis situation requires an appropriate response dictated by its context. Rapid response actions can, therefore, take many forms depending on what is needed in each specific situation.

FPI complements the EU’s engagement at bilateral and regional levels, and aims at creating coherence between this geographical approach and the broader global EU policy on peace and security. On long-term challenges related to peace and stability, FPI is present in thematic areas such as countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism, mitigating risks linked to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats (CBRN), tackling organised crime, from drugs and guns to wildlife and human trafficking, protecting critical infrastructure, including maritime and cyber security, as well as climate change and security. Each area is high on the EU agenda and all external actions are framed by the EU policy objectives.

FPI works in close partnership with the EU Delegations, the European External Action Service and other Commission services, thereby contributing to an integrated approach to conflicts, one of the main objectives of the Global Strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy.

The Service employs a team of specialised policy planners for this purpose, working both at Headquarters and in the FPI’s Regional Teams. The FPI Regional Teams are located in the EU Delegations in Brazil (covering the Americas), Kenya (covering Eastern and Southern Africa), Lebanon (covering the Middle East and North Africa), Senegal (covering Western Africa), and Thailand (covering Asia and the Pacific). Implementing partners predominantly include NGOs, the UN and other international organisations, EU Member State agencies as well as regional and sub-regional organisations.

Responding to Global and Transregional Threats

Terrorism, violent extremism and organised crime are affecting countries and societies around the world. At the same time, the struggles for control over critical infrastructure and technology, the threats to the safety and security of people and infrastructure linked to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances and materials, and the accelerating climate change are becoming more prominent. These global and transregional threats increase the risk of instability and violent conflict and undermine recovery and development efforts, the rule of law, and peace. They are placing new demands on the EU external policies.

The Service for Foreign Policy Instruments is identifying, preparing and implementing longer-term actions to support partner countries outside of the EU to build and enhance their capacity to respond to global, transregional and emerging threats to stability, peace and security. It is providing capacity-building support and technical assistance, in particular for law enforcement, judicial and civil authorities, and promoting cooperation and exchange among these actors. Respect for human rights and the rule of law are strong components of all supported actions.

These actions require a detailed planning and consultation process. They are developed in close cooperation and coordination with the European External Action Service, other European Commission services, the EU Member States and relevant Member States' organisations, partner countries and, where appropriate, with other donors. They complement EU engagement at bilateral and regional levels and are framed and guided by EU foreign policy objectives set out in the EU Global Strategy and other policy documents and legislation on security related issues.

Instrument contributing to stability and peace - map of projects

* The map contains information on the EU projects in the areas of crisis response, conflict prevention and peace building. It doesn’t cover the EU projects related to responding to global and transregional threats.