Patryk Pawlak (The European Parliamentary Research Service)
The connection between security, peace and development has been widely recognized in Europe. Their relationship, however, presents challenges, especially with regard to the rapidly evolving security environment in the world. The EU cooperation in the area of peace and security comes in different forms through budget support in the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy, but the existing rules of financing via the EU budget exclude the strengthening of the cooperation with the ministries of defense and armies themselves in third countries.
For this reason, in July 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for the amendment to the regulation, which establishes a tool contributing to stability and peace. The proposed amendment aims to rectify this situation by creating such conditions, which will encourage third countries to introduce a budget support for capacity-building programs aimed at training, mentoring, assistance for improving infrastructure and the strengthening of the capacity of military subjects. The key aim here is to contribute to a peaceful and inclusive development of the societies in the countries concerned, such as in Africa.
European non-profit organizations, however, warn against a disproportional focus on the military dimension and emphasize the need to pay sufficient attention to the risks associated with such support. They argue that the institutions that are easily corruptible could be thereby strengthened and therefore unpredictable. Their arming could lead to further human rights violations and therefore to more deaths. Thus, they urge the EU to ensure that the priorities of the draft would reflect a broader political strategy for a long-term peace and development rather than separate one-off interventions. This means the need to ensure financial and political control over the security sector, including the involvement of civil society in the assessment of the needs while creating capacity-building programs.
The European Parliament has not yet delivered a binding opinion on this issue. In the resolution of April last year, it only emphasized that development without security is impossible to achieve and pointed to the fact that the EU development policy must be an integral part of the EU’s Global Strategy in the area of foreign and security policy. The proposal is still at the beginning of the EU’s legislative process. The EP Committee on Foreign Affairs has not yet chosen its rapporteur, so the EU will still be guided by the existing legal framework for some time.
(The study can be downloaded here)