published on European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) March 6, 2018
The question of how the EU should finance its assistance to peacebuilding activities of partner countries and organisations has challenged policymakers and pundits for many years. At one level this is a technical and legal issue of budget lines and financing rules. It nevertheless touches on much deeper political and even moral issues of whether the EU should use development aid to finance security provision, how best the EU can respond to the legitimate needs of partners in conflict-affected countries, and what kind of civil and/or military engagements the EU supports in its external relations. There is a sensible proposal on the table which has the potential to answer the question, at least for a while. At a high-level conference on EU security and defence on 13 December 2017, High Representative Federica Mogherini proposed the creation of a European Peace Facility (EPF). The EPF has the potential to resolve some of the underlying problems of the EU’s architecture for financing peace and security, but it needs to be set up in the right manner. The best model for the EPF is a multi donor trust fund, open for direct contributions from EU member states and international partners, including the post-Brexit UK.