New European Peace Facility worth €10.5 billion to bolster international security
Announced on 13 June by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini with the support of the European Commission, the proposed European Peace Facility (EPF) is part of a package of measures designed to boost the EU's security and defence capabilities. "The European Peace Facility, noted the High Representative, would allow the EU to be much more efficient in deploying our military missions, but also to better support our partners in dealing with our shared security challenges."
In addition to the EPF, A €13 billion European Defence Fund will provide the financial firepower for cross-border investments in state-of-the-art and fully interoperable technology and equipment in areas such as encrypted software and drone technology.
The European Peace Facility
The proposed European Peace Facility is a new off-budget fund worth €10.5 billion over a seven-year period coinciding with the timeframe of the next Multiannual Financial Framework. It should substantially enhance the Union's ability to finance operational actions under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) that have military or defence implications, and that therefore cannot be financed under the EU budget. It would draw together and enhance existing off-budget mechanisms devoted to security and defence, thereby overcoming their gaps and limitations.
It is proposed that the EPF will:
- Fund the common costs of EU military operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
- Contribute to the financing of military peace support operations led by other international actors.
- Engage in broader actions aimed at supporting partner countries' armed forces with infrastructure, equipment or military assistance, as well as in other operational actions under the Union's CFSP with military or defence implications, when so decided by the Council.
On 12 June the Commission College agreed to support the EPF proposal, which will now be submitted to the Council by the High Representative. The aim would be to establish this Facility in 2020 with the first budget for 2021.
The High Representative/Vice-President's speech at the “Building on vision, forward to action: delivering on EU security and defence” event (Solvay library, 13 December 2017) raised the idea of an off-budget European Peace Facility.
The 14 February Commission Communication on 'A new, modern MFF for a EU that delivers efficiently on its priorities post-2020' builds on this, referencing a 'separate funding mechanism of around EUR 10 billion for the 2021-2027 period [that] would significantly increase the EU's ability to financially support CFSP actions with defence implications. This would compare to up to EUR 3.5 billion under the current period.'
The 2 May Commission Communication 'A Modern Budget for a Union that Protects, Empowers and Defends' also references the European Peace Facility.
The EPF will be complementary to other EU programmes with a security and defence focus or component, including a €13 billion European Defence Fund and the budget of €6.5 billion earmarked in the Connecting Europe Facility to enhance the EU's strategic transport infrastructure to make it fit for military mobility.