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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

European Peace Facility

The European Peace Facility is an off-budget instrument that enhances the EU’s ability to act as a global security provider.  It was established in March 2021 to preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security.

Focused shot of EU training mission badge on soldier's unform
European Peace Facility

Key facts:

  • The European Peace Facility (EPF) is an off-budget funding mechanism for EU actions with military and defence implications under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It has a total budget of €5.69 billion in current prices (€5 billion in 2018 prices) for the period 2021-2027, with annual ceilings from €420 million in 2021 to €1.132 billion in 2027.
  • The EPF consists of two pillars – one for military operations and one for assistance measures.
  • The support under the EPF is provided by an administrator for operations and by an administrator for assistance measures. The Head of Service, the FPI Director is the administrator for assistance measures, while the administrator for operations is within the Council General Secretariat.
  • The administrators are responsible for the financial implementation of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) military operations and of assistance measures. They do this under the EPF by providing financial, technical or material support with military or defence implications to third countries, regional or international organisations.
  • The strategic orientation and political steer for operations and assistance measures to be funded under the EPF is provided by the Political and Security Committee (PSC) on the basis of the strategic priorities set by the European Council and the Council.
  • The EPF is managed under the authority and direction of a Facility Committee responsible for adopting the EPF annual and amending budgets. The EPF Committee is composed of a representative of each EU Member State. It operates within the structures of the Council and is chaired by a representative of the rotating presidency of the Council.
  • A College of Auditors is in charge of the external audit of revenue and expenditure as well as of the annual accounts of operations and assistance measures. The Auditors are appointed by the EPF Committee based on candidates proposed by the EU Member States.

The European Peace Facility (EPF) was established by Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/509 of 22 March 2021 on the basis of Articles 30(1) and 41(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

The EPF finances CFSP actions withmilitary and defence implications that will enhance the Union's ability to prevent conflicts, build peace, and strengthen international security. It covers an increased range of EU military missions and operations and it allows the EU to support partners on a global level, either bilaterally or through international or regional organisations. The Facility replaces the Athena mechanism and the African Peace Facility, which have ceased to exist, and has a global geographical reach.

The EPF has a total financial ceiling of €5.69 billion for the period 2021-2027. As the EPF is an off-budget instrument, EU Member States pay their contributions directly every year, based on the estimated annual budget for the EPF.

Through the EPF, the EU has the possibility to provide military equipment to increase its partners’ security and defence capacity. In addition to training provided to partners, the EPF also allows the EU to provide equipment, subject to strict safeguards and control mechanisms. Respect of human rights and compliance with international humanitarian law are crucial and will be ensured at each step.

The EPF has a two-pillar structure articulated into operations and assistance measures. The operations pillar covers the common costs of military CSDP missions and operations. The assistance measures pillar finances the military aspects of Peace Support Operations (PSOs) and supports capacity building of partner countries and international organisations in military and defence matters.

Upon a proposal by the High Representative or a Member State, the Council of the European Union decides what kind of assistance and equipment can be supplied according to the needs of EU partners. It will assess the level of guarantees and safeguards for adequate use, respect of human rights and international humanitarian law as well as other criteria such as ownership, avoidance of diversion, traceability of equipment, local absorption capacity, and sustainability of the EU investment.

The Integrated Methodological Framework, approved by the Council, outlines the safeguards and principles for compliance and control for the provision of military equipment. The EPF Committee, under whose authority and direction the Facility is managed, adopted its Rules of procedure and the Rules for the implementation of revenue and expenditure financed under the EPF.

Since the establishment of the EPF, the Council has adopted the following assistance measures:

The European Peace Facility is on the frontline in supporting the capabilities and resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, and protect the civilian population against the ongoing Russian military aggression. With resources amounting to €2 billion, the EPF will cover the costs of military equipment, including items designed to deliver lethal force for defensive purposes.

The role of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

The European Commission acts as administrator for assistance measures through its Service for Foreign Policy Instruments. The Commission also acts as accounting officer and internal auditor for assistance measures through the Directorate-General for Budget and the Internal Audit Service respectively. The administrator is in charge of the financial implementation of assistance measures.

European Peace Facility (EPF) Factsheet
(303.17 KB - PDF)