The European Peace Facility (EPF) is a fund worth €5 billion financed outside the EU Budget, for a period of seven years (the current Multiannual Financial Framework 2021- 2027). This facility will fill a gap in the EU’s external action by creating one instrument to finance Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions in military and defence areas. The EPF replaces the Athena mechanism and the African Peace Facility, which will cease to exist. It will take over the military and defence related aspects previously covered under those instruments.
The EPF will fund the common costs of the military Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations. It will also finance the military and defence related aspects of Peace Support Operations led by the African Union, supported under the African Peace Facility. In addition, the EU will be able to support partner countries bilaterally in military and defence matters. The assistance granted will no longer be limited to Africa, but can benefit partners in other regions that face major security challenges and that EU Member States decide to support.
Finally, the EU will have the possibility to provide military equipment to increase partners’ defence capabilities. The EU will be able not only to train partners, but also to equip them, subject to strict safeguards and control mechanisms and in full compliance with human rights and International Humanitarian Law. It will cover an increased range of funding of the common costs of EU military missions and operations and allow the EU to support to partners on a global level, either bilaterally or through international or regional organisations.
The EPF will enable capacity-building activities for military actors, and the provision of training, equipment and infrastructure for security purposes. Other types of support, for example for development-related purposes or for the civilian security sector, will continue to be funded on the EU budget. This will allow the EU to improve the capacities of partners to address crises, prevent conflicts and cater for their own security and stability by themselves – to the benefit of their population.
With a value of up to €5 billion for the seven-year period of the MFF, the EPF will ensure that EU funding is available on a reliable and predictable basis, while allowing not only for rapid crisis response and provision of urgent assistance, but also for longer-term capacity building support to the EU’s partners. The objective of the mechanism is thus to close existing gaps in the EU’s toolbox, enabling the EU to do more and to act more swiftly. In this manner, the EPF will maximise the impact, effectiveness and sustainability of overall EU external action in peace and security.