EU external assistance fund supports military’s civilian actions

EPA/MICHAEL KAPPELER / POOL

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (C-R) speaks to a German (R), a Malian (C-L) and British (L) officer as she visits the armory of the European Training Mission (EUTM) Mali in Koulikoro, Mali, 06 April 2016, where soldiers from Mali are trained international instructors, including soldiers from the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr).

EU external assistance fund supports military’s civilian actions


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A whopping €100m will pour into the European Union fund for stability and peace, which covers projects in 70 countries worldwide. The aim is to support the military’s civilian tasks in third countries.

Training, mentoring and advising military forces in countries outside the EU on topics such as human rights or protection of women and children, as well as the provision of non-lethal equipment or infrastructure, such as IT systems or hospitals, will now be eligible for EU support.

The European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee green-lighted an informal deal, which was approved by European Council negotiators on October 27. This will allow the EU fund for stability and peace to finance the military in partner countries to deliver development activities. However, this will only be possible under the following conditions: if the partner country and the EU agree that the military are key to preserving peace or overcoming a crisis and civilian forces are deemed not able to cope with the challenge.

The informal agreement was backed by Foreign Affairs Committee by 27 votes to 7, with 2 abstentions. The agreement will be debated in the full House vote on 29-30 November, followed by a vote by the Council in December.

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