Weekly News Review - European Union Security Watch spot

22.03.2021 – 28.03.2021

The Council of the European Union adopted a decision establishing the European Peace Facility (EPF), an off-budget fund worth approximately €5 billion for the period 2021-2027. Its ultimate aim is to enhance the E.U.’s ability to prevent conflict, preserve peace and strengthen international stability and security. It will be financed through contributions by the E.U. Member States based on a Gross National Income distribution key. The EPF will maximize the impact, effectiveness, and sustainability of overall EU external action in peace and security, thus enabling the E.U. to take on more responsibility as a global security provider. The EPF creates a single instrument to finance all Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions in military and defense areas and replaces the Athena mechanism and the African Peace Facility.  At the same time, it ensures the availability of E.U. funding on a reliable and predictable basis providing long-term capacity-building support to E.U. partners.

European Operation “IRINI”, implementing the U.N. arms embargo on Libya, is going to be extended for two more years, continuing to offer a chance for peace and development in the country. According to the E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP) Josep Borrell, the E.U. is ready to broaden its efforts and conduct inspections in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Prioritizing the NATO alliance in order to confront the Russian subversion in Europe is crucial for U.S. President Joe Biden’s foreign policy. Emphasis should be given to strengthening Eastern Europe and especially the Baltic countries and the Black Sea allies, with all contracting parts committing to increasing security.

The European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States agreed on imposing sanctions against China officials, accusing them of violation of human rights in the Xinjiang region. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that cooperation, concerning issues such as crimes, violations, and justice system restoration is vital. China responded to the synchronized western sanctions, by imposing, in retaliation, sanctions including several E.U. officials and parliamentarians, under the pretext that its sovereignty is threatened. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs alleges that the E.U. entities intentionally misinform and “spread lies”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his like-mindedness with China, criticizing the E.U.’s “unilateral decisions” that led to Russia’s estrangement.

Discussions were held between the E.U. leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concerning Turkey’s unilateral actions. The bloc proposed an agreement for a deeper customs union with Ankara, as long as the country abstains from future provocations in the Mediterranean Sea and expresses respect towards international law.