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EU’s new military aid fund positioned to take off operationally in July

The co-ordination and initial use of the EU’s new foreign military aid programme, the European Peace Facility (EPF), will be closely aligned with the union’s military training and security missions in Africa to complement their objectives, says the chief EU official overseeing the fund, who added that a first set of priorities for the EPF will soon be mapped out.

The EPF is to become operational in July. (Getty Images)

The EPF is to become operational in July. (Getty Images)

“The EU’s CSDP [Common Security and Defence Policy] missions in Africa will be closely associated with our work in that they will be involved in the design, evaluation, control and advice for any aid distributed from the EPF,” Stefano Tomat told a 14 April meeting in Brussels of the European Parliament’s Security and Defence (SEDE) subcommittee. Tomat is director of CSDP and crisis response policy within the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s foreign policy wing.

That was music to the ears of many SEDE committee members. “It is imperative that this fund be implemented as rapidly as possible,” said French member of the European Parliament and former SEDE chairman Arnaud Danjean. “It will be easier for us to monitor what the EPF is doing if this is done closely with EU missions and operations.”

Worth EUR5 billion (USD6 billion) during 2021-27, the EPF will be financed directly from the 27 EU member states’ national treasuries as an inter-governmental pot of money falling outside the EU’s formal budget and thus controlled by the Council of Ministers, which directly represents national capitals. The EEAS will propose projects for the EPF to finance, which can range from supplies and training equipment to lethal weaponry for defensive purposes.

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