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A new EU policy to support Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of former combatants

Today, the High Representative and the European Commission put forward the European Union's new policy to support disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants (DDR), as part of the EU's wider contribution to peacebuilding. This new Joint Communication outlines a new EU strategic approach to support DDR processes and reflects the ambition of a stronger Europe in the world as a global peace actor.

This revised policy strengthens the EU's capacity to contribute to the prevention and sustainable resolution of armed conflicts that destabilise entire regions, affect the security of the EU and its citizens, and undermine development gains and resilience.

High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, said:

Today's conflicts are no longer the same they were 15 years ago. They require stronger engagement to better address the challenges posed by armed groups and the complex conflict drivers across international borders. Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants plays a key role in the EU's efforts towards sustainable peace and prevention of resurgence of violence. The EU will increase its impact on these processes by making full use of available policies, tools, and instruments across different sectors.”

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said:

“Stability and prosperity but also security are priority objectives for our relations with our direct neighbours. With this initiative we are addressing an important challenge. By making our partners more stable, we make the EU more secure.”

EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said:

This Communication provides a new, solid foundation for the EU's engagement for supporting transitions from conflicts to sustainable peace. I am particularly glad of the emphasis given on active consultation, engagement and participation of those concerned, especially women and youth. This is key to preventing further violence, promote sustainable peace and ensure an inclusive development in the long run paving the way for reducing inequalities in societies.

DDR as a part of the Integrated Approach

The success and sustainability of a DDR process is highly dependent on a wide range of other efforts, including dialogue and mediation, security sector governance and reform, inclusive and sustainable development, transitional justice, prevention and countering of violent extremism, tackling organised crime and illegal exploitation of natural resources, and the management of small arms and light weapons. In this light, the EU's new DDR policy draws on the broad range of tools that are part of the Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises, taking into account the UN Integrated DDR Standards. The new policy will effectively contribute to peacebuilding and enhancing resilience of communities affected by fragility and conflicts.

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