News & views | 18 November 2020 | by Selma van Oostwaard0
Joint Civil Society statement: European ‘Peace’ Facility Causing harm or bringing peace?
The European Union risks fuelling conflict and human rights abuses around the world if it adopts the European Peace Facility (EPF) in its current form, warned 40 civil society organizations, including PAX, with expertise on peace, human rights and the protection of civilians.
Today, EU Member States’ ambassadors meet to discuss a new funding instrument that presents a fundamental shift towards a more military approach in EU foreign policy, and risks causing large-scale civilian harm around the world. If passed in its current form, the €5 billion EPF would fund EU-branded initiatives to train and equip foreign military and security forces, including the possibility of providing them with lethal weapons. This would feed into the very dynamics that the EPF seeks to address.
By strengthening security forces and providing them with military equipment in conflict areas, the European Peace Facility’s funding will risk increasing human rights abuses and contribute to further violence and arms proliferation, rather than to protect civilians and search for political solutions.
If EU Member States insist on adopting the EPF, they must urgently address the risks that EPF-funded assistance will do harm. 40 civil society organizations call on EU Member States to:
1) Strengthen conflict prevention and civilian harm prevention and mitigation;
2) Exclude the transfer of lethalweapons from the proposal, and;
3) Adopt a due diligence framework to ensure the facility’s activities are conducted in accordance with international law.