Prioritising Peace: Churches urge EU to protect peacebuilding funds from militarisation  

Press Release No: 16/32
13 October 2016
Brussels

The European Commission has tabled a proposal on capacity building in support of security and development amending the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). Current discussion opens way for the EU to use development funds to support military activity of third countries.

The Conference of European Churches responds to this development with deep concern. Mixing military and non-military budgets and projects risks prioritizing military expenditures and strategies. The limited amount of funds of the IcSP until now exclusively reserved for non-military projects and action must be protected.

Throughout Europe churches are very involved in reconciliation work, peacebuilding, and development. This proposal poses a serious challenge to this work and also to church-related development agencies and NGOs. It also runs counter to the core values upon which the Union was founded. The preamble of the Treaty of the European Union states that in its relations with the wider world, the Union shall “contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights.”

Background:
Following lengthy discussions in 2014, funds totalling 2.3 billion Euros were allocated to the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (EU Regulation 230/2014) for the period up to 2020. According to regulation 230/2014, IcSP funds should be used only for civilian conflict prevention and other measures addressing the root causes of conflicts via non-military means, including mediation, dialogue, and disarmament. The Commission now proposes introducing a new article 3a “To build the capacity of military actors in partner countries,” which might be accompanied by 100 million Euros in funding coming from the Development Cooperation Instrument.

Links:
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2405_en.htm
https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/joint-communication-ssr-20160705-p1-854572_en.pdf
https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/com-2016-477-20160706-proposal-for-regulation-icsp_en.pdf

For more information or an interview, please contact:

Erin Green
Communication Coordinator

Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 234 68 42
Fax +32 2 231 14 13
E-mail: eeg@cec-kek.be
Website: www.ceceurope.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ceceurope
Twitter: @ceceurope

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of 115 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all across Europe, plus more than 40 National Council of Churches and Organisations in Partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.

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