The uncharted path towards a European Peace Facility
This paper analyses the proposal for the creation of a European Peace Facility (EPF), which would allow the EU to deploy military operations more effectively and to finance peace support operations led by other international actors, as well as build its partners’ military capacities.
While the proposed EPF is partly a repackaging of existing mechanisms, it would also expand significantly and diversify the EU’s ability to engage in new types of military support and assistance, backed by boosted financial resources.
If implemented, the EPF may shift away from the EU’s traditional focus on ‘soft power’, motivated by growing geopolitical volatility and new conflicts close to its borders. This raises the question of how this initiative would fit within the wider EU ambitions to contribute to international peace and security beyond purely military means.
The EU already has a wide variety of instruments and tools available in areas such as civilian crisis management, conflict prevention and human rights. The main challenges are how to use these in a coherent way and how to ensure the necessary safeguards, monitoring systems and conflict sensitivity to ensure EPF activities contribute to positive and sustainable responses to violent conflict and human insecurity.
The governance and institutional capacities of the EPF, including decision-making procedures, institutional organisation, and interaction with other EU services, will all be critical to ensure the EPF’s effectiveness in contributing to global peace and security.