7 EU External Action: the Instrument
+ ADD 1
|Commission Report: Annual Report on the Instrument for Stability in 2009
|Document originated||28 September 2010
|Deposited in Parliament||9 November 2010
|Department||Foreign and Commonwealth Office
|Basis of consideration||EM of 22 November 2010
|Previous Committee Report||None; but see (30859) 12674/10: HC 19-xxvi (2008-09), chapter 18 (10 September 2009); also see (29656) : HC 16-xxiv (2007-08), chapter 11(18 June 2008) and (27653-55): HC 34-xxxv (2005-06), chapter 11 (12 July 2006)
|To be discussed in Council||To be determined
|Committee's assessment||Politically important
|Committee's decision||Not cleared; further information requested
7.1 Towards the end of the previous Financial Perspective, the
Commission and Council decided to replace the then plethora of
financial instruments for the delivery of external assistance
with a simpler, more efficient framework. Instead of the wide
range of geographical and thematic instruments that had grown
up in an ad hoc manner over time, the new framework comprises
six instruments only, four of them new. The four new instruments
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance;
a European Neighbourhood and Partnership
a Development Cooperation and Economic
Cooperation Instrument; and
an Instrument for Stability.
7.2 The first three all essentially repackage existing
EC activity. The Instrument for Stability, however,
is a new instrument to tackle crises and instability in third
countries and address trans-border challenges including nuclear
safety and non-proliferation, the fight against trafficking, organised
crime and terrorism. 
7.3 The previous Committee cleared the draft IfS
Regulation on 12 July 2006.
At that time, they noted that the then Minister for Europe (Mr
Geoffrey Hoon) confirmed that an original concern how
in practice it would be prevented from encroaching on Common Foreign
and Security Policy (CFSP) activities and objectives had
been overcome: the later stages of negotiation were difficult
precisely because of the need to maintain a clear distinction
with CFSP activities; but having worked hard to ensure that activities
covered by the Regulation were limited to those falling within
the scope of the Community's powers relating to development co-operation
and economic co-operation, he was satisfied that the agreed text
met concerns in these areas. He said that the Stability Instrument
would cater for many of the kinds of activities the existing Rapid
Reaction Mechanism was intended to cover as well as other existing
Community activities in relation to, for example, combating anti-personnel
landmines, reestablishment of civilian administration in Congo
and Afghanistan, planning economic reconstruction in Iraq and
supporting post-tsunami reconstruction around the Indian Ocean
all of which, he said, were of critical importance to
the then Government's objectives. The Commission would be required
to submit all projects for the opinion of the Stability Instrument
Management Committee, composed of representatives of all Member
States something on which he said that he had insisted,
in order to exercise proper political control.
7.4 The Instrument for Stability was allocated 2.1
billion between 2007 and 2013. The UK's share of the allocation
was 17%, i.e. 350.5 million.
7.5 An Annual report must be submitted to the European
Parliament and the Council in compliance with Article 23
of Regulation (EC) No. 1717/2006 of the European Parliament and
the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an Instrument for
Stability (the IfS Regulation).
7.6 The previous Committee's consideration of the
2008 Report noted that, on the key issue of evaluation, the then
Minister for Europe said:
"With a project length of between 12 and
18 months, some 2008 short term crisis response measures are still
being implemented. The Commission has provided a progress report
on all 2007 and 2008 measures in the Annex to the Annual Report.
The Commission intends to conduct a full evaluation of 2007 and
2008 short term measures in 2009/10, in which the UK is participating.
The long term crisis preparedness measures are harder to evaluate
at this stage as some 2007 projects have only started to be implemented
7.7 The previous Committee also thought that the
good start that they noted a year earlier appeared to have been
consolidated, but that the acid test would be the mid-term review
7.8 Though their report raised no concerns at this
juncture, they considered that it warranted a Report to the House
because of the magnitude of expenditure, the nature of the issues
that the IfS is designed to tackle and the inter-relationship
with the Council's ESDP activities.
7.9 They also cleared the document.
The 2009 Annual Report
7.10 Work undertaken by the IfS is split into two
3 (77% of total funding) deals with short term projects designed
to provide assistance to help countries respond to crisis or emerging
Article 4 (19% of total funding) covers
longer-term measures to address crisis preparedness and trans-regional
The remaining funds (4%) are used to cover administrative
7.11 The 2009 Annual Report outlines the progress
of the short term IfS measures launched in that year and provides
an update on the financial commitments of the long-term projects.
7.12 In 2009, the short term component of the IfS
was engaged in a broad range of thematic issues concerning peace-building
and stability. Examples include:
to UN and regional organisations-led peace-keeping missions and
peace-building activities (Chad, Darfur, Somalia);
support for fragile electoral processes
(Bolivia, Pakistan, Republic of Moldova);
post-conflict and post-disaster recovery
programmes (Haiti, Gaza Strip, Peru, Bangladesh);
supporting conflict resolution and reconciliation
activities (Georgia, occupied Palestinian territory, Sri Lanka);
aiding or supporting measures in countries
where CSDP missions are deployed (Afghanistan, Democratic Republic
of Congo, Georgia, Kosovo).
7.13 The majority of IfS measures launched in 2009
took place in Africa (25%) and Asia (20%), but IfS support has
also been provided in the Middle East (18%), Western Balkans (15%)
and South Caucasus (11%).
7.14 The Multi-Annual Indicative Action Plan, which
sets out the long term IfS priorities for 2009 to 2011, was adopted
in April 2009 and foresaw 225 million to be used to support
three priority areas:
global trans-regional efforts tackling organised crime, trafficking,
the protection of critical infrastructure, threats to public health
and the fight against terrorism (Article 4.1);
supporting action in the area of mitigation
and preparedness relating to chemical, nuclear and biological
materials or agents (Article 4.2); and
capacity building measures aimed at strengthening
the abilities of international organisations and non-state actors
to respond to and prevent crisis (Article 4.3).
The Government's view
7.15 In his Explanatory Memorandum of 22 November
2010, the Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington) says that the
the EU to respond quickly to crisis and instability overseas when
timely financial help cannot be provided by other EU sources;
complements wider EU engagement in line
with CSDP interventions and longer term goals; and
focuses its projects on a range of key
issues, such as supporting mediation, confidence building and
strengthening the rule of law in EU partner countries.
7.16 He continues as follows:
"IfS activities launched in 2009 under the
short term component complement UK priorities in countries such
as Afghanistan where the IfS helps the Afghan Government draw
up reform programmes for key justice institutions. This covers
important issues such as recruitment, personnel systems, pay and
the establishment of a new legal aid system. These measures are
designed to help improve the rule of law and stability in a country
which is a key foreign and security policy priority for the UK.
"Under its short term component, the IfS
has also funded a number of projects in Pakistan which support
UK priorities to prevent and resolve conflict and counter the
terrorist threat, for example:
"2009: Support to law enforcement and de-radicalisation
(15m): This work supports capacity building measures for
law enforcement in Pakistan. IfS measures include strengthening
law enforcement agencies such as the National Counter-Terrorism
Authority as well as supporting police forces in the North-West
Frontier Province and Punjab Province. These programmes are intended
to improve the Pakistani authorities' ability to maintain the
rule of law and combat terrorism.
- "2008/2009: Electoral reform (2.4m):
The IfS provides support for electoral reform in order to make
a substantial contribution to peace and stability in Pakistan
through an improved elections processes.
"Under the long term component, the IfS
has identified 'Support for prevention of and fight against terrorism'
as a priority, and allocated 14m for 2009-11. This programme
will be focussed on the Sahel, Afghanistan and Pakistan regions.
It will be complementary to ongoing bilateral and regional programmes
and aims to improve the law enforcement and counter terrorism
capabilities of the countries within the regions. The UK Government
supports these measures as they complement UK objectives for the
"The IfS also complements the work of the
EU's CSDP missions. Examples from 2009 where cooperation between
IfS and CSDP interventions worked well include the ongoing work
in the Middle East where IfS funding assists EUPOL COPPS (the
EU's Police Mission to the Palestinian Territories). The IfS funds
equipment for Palestinian Police officers in an effort to improve
security conditions and also assists the EU's Naval Operation
tacking piracy in Somalia (Operation ATALANTA) by way of supporting
the trials and detention of piracy suspects."
7.17 The Minister then refers to the Council Decision
establishing the European External Action Service (EEAS), which
includes the future arrangements for the management of the IfS
and other Community Instruments:
"Precisely how these arrangements will operate
in practice will become clearer once the EEAS is fully up and
running. The Government is content with the principles set out
in the decision including the division of roles between the EEAS
and the Commission. The European Parliament tried without success
to reopen some of these principles during negotiations on the
EEAS budget and the amending of staff and financial regulations.
On 27 October the Commission announced it was creating a new "Foreign
Policy Instruments Service" which will be under the political
authority of Baroness Ashton in her role as Commission Vice-President."
7.18 The Minister then notes that there are no direct
financial implications to the UK from the Annual Report, as it
does not propose to increase or reduce the total IfS budget and
is intended solely as a means of updating Member States on IfS
actions undertaken in 2009.
7.19 We are reporting this information to the
House for the same reasons as did our predecessors.
7.20 The activities funded by the IfS would appear
to be entirely appropriate. However, as the previous Committee
noted, effectiveness is key. We would therefore like to know what
the state of play is on the Commission's evaluation of the Instrument's
effectiveness thus far.
7.21 We would be also grateful if the Minister
would elaborate on the new "Foreign Policy Instruments Service".
We would particularly like him to remind the House what the principles
set out in the decision including the division of roles between
the EEAS and the Commission are; how the European Parliament sought
have them changed; and how the new "Foreign Policy Instruments
Service" safeguards the present arrangements.
7.22 In the meantime, we shall retain the document
40 Two existing instruments, for Humanitarian Aid,
and for Macro Financial Assistance, were judged not to be in need
of modification, and were maintained. See http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/04/1151&format=HTML&aged=0&lg=et&guiLanguage=en
for further background. Back
See headnote (27653-55)-: HC 34-xxxv (2005-06), chapter 11 (12
July 2006). Back
See headnote: (30859) 12674/10: HC 19-xxvi (2008-09), chapter