Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace: Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism

Since 2005, the EU has stressed that actions to combat terrorism effectively must be organised around four objectives: prevention, protection, pursuit and response, in line with the European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the European Union Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism.

Established initially in 2007, the Instrument for Stability (IfS) was rebranded in 2014 to the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). It is the main thematic tool of the European Commission to improve security in partner countries, complementing other financial tools in particular where geographical or traditional development instruments cannot be used. It is possible to provide ‘assistance in response to situations of crisis or emerging crisis to prevent conflicts’ as well as longer-term programmes relating to conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis-preparedness as well as addressing global, trans-regional and emerging threats (such as, amongst others, organised crime and drug trafficking).

The EU approach to Counter Terrorism capacity building is to promote criminal justice/rule of law and law enforcement while respecting human rights as well as to support prevention measures such as counter-radicalisation and terrorist financing. The different strands of the IcSP Counter Terrorism work follow this logic and focus on:

  • capacity building of law enforcement and judiciary agencies,
  • countering violent extremism and
  • countering financing of terrorism.

For the period 2007-2014, 58.3M€ of the IcSP long term budget has been committed to Counter Terrorism. A number of activities with the aim of providing support to fight against terrorism at local, national, regional and global levels are on-going or planned to be undertaken. For the period 2014-2020, there will be a significant increase in support to Counter Terrorism – from an average of app. €4M/year in the previous MFF (2017-2013) to app. €18M/year over the coming seven years.

Geographic areas under the scope of IcSP are worldwide and specific national and regional actions include the Horn of Africa (including Yemen); the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); the Sahel (Mali, Mauritania and Niger); and Pakistan and South East Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines and Vietnam). In addition, the African Union (AU) has received support in order to fight terrorism.

The IcSP now aims to expand engagement in the areas yet to be covered as per CT and IcSP strategies, e.g. in the area of Countering the Financing of Terrorism – a subject only covered so far in the Horn of Africa.

For more on our thematic approaches or regional actions, please see:

Countering the financing of terrorism
Countering violent extremism
Criminal justice capacity building
ICSP geographic actions