The European Commission has adopted a proposal to mobilise €250 million from the European Development Fund (EDF) for a Peace Facility (PF) for Africa. The PF should support African-led peace-keeping operations in Africa. It will be based on the principles of: (i) ownership reinforcing the capacity of the African people to deal with African conflicts; (ii) solidarity through financial contributions from all African countries; and (iii) development recognising that without peace and stability there can be no development in Africa. The proposal is a timely response to a call made by African leaders at the African Union summit in Maputo in July 2003.
Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian aid Poul Nielson said: “Fostering peace and security is essential if Africa is to break the vicious circle of poverty and war and failing socio-economic structures. With the Peace Facility we are proposing to add an important dimension to our co-operation with Africa. This decision clearly shows the importance we attach to delivering on the request made in Maputo in July.”
Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten said “The European Union is making an increasing contribution to peace keeping worldwide, including in Africa. The Peace Facility will provide a more stable mechanism for our contributions in the future, in the belief that peace and stability are necessary conditions for sustainable development to take place.”
The main objectives of the PF will be to:
(i) promote African solutions to African crises by providing the African Union with the “financial muscle” to back up its political resolve with concrete acts;
(ii) encourage African solidarity. All African states will be contributing to the PF also those not involved in conflict resolution. This expression of solidarity marks a recognition that peace and stability will be to the benefit of the continent as a whole; and
(iii) create the necessary conditions for development. School or roads cannot be built while countries are ravaged by conflicts. Support to peace keeping must be seen as an integral part of fostering development.
The PF should contribute to the financing of African-led peace keeping operations. Military expenditure such as arms, ammunitions or salaries of troops will not be eligible for funding.
The proposal will add a new dimension to the EU's development co-operation with Africa as it is proposed that development resources provide the financial basis for the PF. It is proposed to allocate a total amount of €250 million to the PF.
This amount would be composed of:
(i) €126,4 million from allocations earmarked to African countries under the 9th European Development Fund EDF (1.5 pct. will be “shaved off” each country allocation);
(ii) €123,6 million from unallocated funds from the 9th EDF.
At the Summit of the African Union in Maputo, Mozambique, from 4-12 July 2003 African Heads of State adopted a resolution requesting the EU to establish a Peace Facility based on the principle of solidarity among African states. At their meeting on 17. July 2003 EU Foreign Ministers requested the Commission to elaborate a concrete proposal for a PF. The present proposal would have to be adopted by the Council in view of a final decision to be taken by the EU-ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) Council of Ministers.