UN-EU partnership: a “bedrock of the multilateral order”


The European Union (EU) is a key partner for the United Nations' work on peace and security and EU member states provide important contributions to UN peacekeeping operations in terms of personnel, capabilities and political support. In recent years the EU has grown in stature as an actor on the global stage with its own missions in place in Mali, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Kosovo, working side by side with those of the UN.     


To reflect these developments, the UN and the EU have updated their Strategic Partnership Priorities on Peace Operations and Crisis Management for the three-year period 2019-2021. On 18 September 2018 EU foreign ministers endorsed these new eight priorities, calling the UN-EU partnership a “bedrock of the multilateral rules-based order”.


The forward looking set of UN-EU joint priorities was preceded by a reflection process under the direction of the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations, Political Affairs and Field Support through the support of the UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security in Brussels. 


One central theme of the joint priorities is to further enhance the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The UN and EU will endeavour for example to achieve meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention and peace operations. The priorities span all UN peace operations and include a focus on conflict prevention and support to political processes and solutions. The priorities also aim to focus on transition planning between UN and EU missions and operations, both at the strategic and tactical level. Other priorities address police, rule of law and security sector reform, training and capacity building and mission support. Partnership with the African Union is also stressed.