In a world in which many crises are in the spotlight on a day-to-day basis while many others unfold out of sight of the public eye, the European Union is actively working to promote peace, human rights and human security. Germany’s Council Presidency aims to further strengthen Europe as an effective and influential power based on the principle of solidarity and to assume even more responsibility for peace and security in the world. One of our particular priorities is to strengthen the EU’s external rapid response capability over the long term with regard to crisis prevention, conflict management and peacebuilding.

In Germany’s role as Presidency of the Council, in cooperation with the European External Action Service and the Commission, we intend to intensify our commitment to overcoming the major international conflicts: not least in finding a solution to the conflict in Libya, in overcoming the consequences of the Syria crisis, in resolving the nuclear issue with Iran, in the Sahel and in eastern Ukraine. Furthermore, the German Presidency of the Council of the EU will also press for upholding the two-state solution as a chance for peace in the Middle East conflict. Germany will do what it can, also in view of the international donor conference for Afghanistan in November, to ensure that the EU continues to support Afghanistan on its path towards peace, stability and growth – conditional on ongoing reform efforts and progress with regard to the peace process.

The strategic partnership between the United Nations and the European Union for peace missions and crisis management plays a central role in the area of peacebuilding and conflict prevention. To this end, the German Council Presidency is supporting steps to further intensify international cooperation in line with the principles “preventing crises, overcoming conflicts, promoting peace” through effective operational cooperation, comprehensive crisis prevention and even greater complementarity between tools. We plan to adopt this approach at European level.