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Stepping up support for security and sustainable development in partner countries

The EC and the High Representative have welcomed the adoption of the proposal on Capacity Building in support of Security & Development (CBSD), to improve the EU's support to security and sustainable development in partner countries.

The addition of CBSD, as a new type of assistance, to the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) will allow the EU to support partner countries more effectively in building their capacity to prevent and manage crises on their own.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "Investing in the security of our partner countries, at their request, is in the EU's and our partners' interests. The EU is not only a political actor and an economic partner, but also a critical security provider, notably in Africa. We have already trained more than 30.000 policemen and women, soldiers, judges: with this new measure, we'll now be able to complete our support by providing them the necessary tools to perform their duty. This will help empower our partner countries to tackle their own security, governance and stability, essential prerequisite for a sustainable development."

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: "There can be no real development without ensuring stability and people's security. In order to achieve sustainable development, the EU will assist partner countries in providing effective and accountable security services to their citizens, which are consistent with democratic norms, good governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights."

The amendment to the IcSP will allow for assisting military actors to perform development and human security-related tasks, under exceptional and clearly defined circumstances: where non-military actors cannot perform them, where there is a threat to the existence of functioning State institutions or the protection of human rights, and where a consensus exists between the partner country concerned and the EU that military actors are key for preserving, establishing or re-establishing the conditions essential for sustainable development, including in crises and fragile or destabilised contexts and situations.

Areas of possible support to partner countries foreseen under CBSD include:

  • training, such as in the areas of human rights, good governance or human resource management;
  • advice and technical cooperation;
  • provision of equipment and infrastructure improvements, such as IT-systems, protective gear, health- or training-related facilities.

Concretely, this could entail for example the support to mine clearing, civil protection tasks in emergencies, or reconstruction or rehabilitation of civil infrastructure.

Through supporting concrete good governance measures, the CBSD assistance will also contribute to enhancing efficiency, civilian oversight and democratic control of the military.

The funding cannot be used for, weapons, ammunition or any kind of lethal equipment. There are clear safe-guards in place to ensure that the support will help to achieve development objectives only.

First support measures under the CBSD amendment are expected to materialise in early 2018.


In some cases, lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity will not be possible without the contribution of the military, which is an integral part of the security and institutional setup of states. The addition of CBSD assistance to the IcSP will allow supporting military actors, in exceptional circumstances, and only in cases when the military performs a development objective, in our partner countries. To this end, €100 million will be added to the IcSP financial envelope for the period of 2018-2020.

The amendment to the IcSP follows up to the Commission's commitments under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which recognises the link between security and development and underlining the importance of just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

For More Information

Council Press Release, 07/12/2017 - Contributing to global stability and peace: Council adopts improvements to the EU's assistance instrument

MEMO - Questions and Answers: Measures in support of security and development in partner countries

Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace

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General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

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