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Funding Arms Transfers through the European Peace Facility: Preventing Risks of Diversion and Misuse

Arms transfers and the European Peace Facility_cover
Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
June, 2022

Since it was established in March 2021, the European Peace Facility (EPF) has become the main source of funding for European Union (EU) external actions in the field of crisis management and conflict prevention with defence and military implications. These actions include initiatives such as EU military missions, support to military peace operations led by other actors and assistance to strengthen third states’ military capacities. In addition, through the EPF, EU security assistance can also fund, for the first time, the supply of lethal military equipment and, thus, weapons.

Arms transfers to countries that are affected by crises and conflict bear higher risks of weapons provided being misused or diverted to unauthorized end-users. Considering the contexts in which the EPF is already or will likely be funding the provision of weapons, these risks are particularly tangible. The EU and its member states have instruments and expertise at their disposal that they should use to minimize the potential negative consequences generated by using the EPF for addressing partners’ security needs. These include preventing overlaps in establishing relevant controls, including post-shipment controls, and coordinating EPF actions with assistance in the field of arms transfer and small arms and light weapons controls.


1. Introduction 

2. The European Peace Facility: Rationale, function and limitation

3. Risks of arms diversion and misuse in fragile contexts: A focus on sub-Saharan Africa

4. Reducing export control-related risks of EPF assistance measure

5. Recommendations

Appendix A. List of EU council decisions establishing assistance measures under the European Peace Facility, as per 28 June 2022



Giovanna Maletta is a Senior Researcher and Acting Programme Director for the Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme at SIPRI.
Lauriane Héau is a Researcher in the Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme at SIPRI.