The EU’s Foreign Policy chief, Federica Mogherini, wants to set up a €10.5 billion fund for peace billion to finance EU military operations that would be outside the multiannual budget, but part of the Commission’s commitment to invest more in defence and security over the next decade.
The European Peace Facility “will fund operational actions under the Common Foreign and Security Policy that have military or defence implications, and therefore cannot be financed under the EU’s budget. It will strengthen the Union’s ability to preserve peace, prevent conflicts, and strengthen international security in line with the Treaty on European Union and the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter,” according to Mogherini’s proposal.
According to the plan, the EU will pay for military equipment, including offensive lethal weapons, for partner countries in crisis zones such as Africa’s Sahel region.
The G5 Sahel – which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger – was launched in 2014 to improve cooperation on development and security in West Africa. The group’s joint counter-terrorism force was launched last July with a mandate to combat terrorism, transnational organised crime and human trafficking in the Sahel area.
“Terrorist attacks, wars, and instability on the borders of Europe, tensions with Russia, the unpredictability of US President (Donald J.) Trump‘s policy,” are just some reasons for the EU to take this step. “The world is going through difficult times and these are demanding that the European Union play a stronger role on the world stage as a credible and reliable promoter of peace and security,” said Mogherini in her official statement, while also stressing the importance of strengthening Europe’s strategic autonomy in light of the United States’ turn towards isolationism and unilateralism under Trump.