European Union

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 18 November 2021

In 2020, the European Union (EU) was the second-largest donor in mine action, contributing more than €78 million (US$89.8 million) to 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.[1]

As in 2019, the largest contribution went to Croatia, receiving more that €20 million ($27.4 million) for clearance activities. This represented more than one quarter (26%) of the EU’s total contribution for the year. At the Mine Action National Directors and United Nations Advisers meeting in May 2021, Croatia said that “the stability of financing sources for mine action…is based on political will, high proportion of its own resources, extraordinary cross-sectorial cooperation and exceptional European Union contribution.”[2] Since Croatia’s accession to the EU in 2013, the EU has contributed more than €130 million (more than $150 million) to demining efforts in the country.

Iraq and Turkey also received substantial funds for clearance and risk education activities, receiving more than €10 million each, for projects implemented by UNDP and UNMAS.

Overall, the EU allocated more than 80% (€66 million/$75.3 million) of its funding to clearance and risk education in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Myanmar, and Yemen. About €4.6 million ($5.2 million), or 6% or its total contribution, went to capacity-building activities in five countries (BiH, Colombia, Lebanon, Libya, and Somalia). A further €1.6 million ($1.8 million), representing 2% of its funding, supported victim assistance in BiH and Syria. The remaining €6.5 million ($7.5 million) was provided to activities that could not be disaggregated by sector and are designated as “various” in the Monitor database.

Contributions by recipient: 2020[3]

Recipients

Sector

Amount

(€)

Amount

(US$)

Croatia

Clearance

24,000,000

27,384,000

Turkey

Clearance

18,550,000

21,165,550

Iraq

Clearance and risk education

10,000,000

11,410,000

Libya

Capacity-building, clearance, and risk education

8,500,000

9,698,500

Yemen

Risk education and victim assistance

7,250,000

8,272,250

Palestine

Clearance

1,500,000

1,711,500

Sri Lanka

Clearance

1,500,000

1,711,500

BiH

Capacity-building, clearance, and victim assistance

1,450,000

1,654,450

Afghanistan

Various

1,300,000

1,483,300

Syria

Victim assistance

1,222,000

1,394,302

Colombia

Capacity-building

1,000,000

1,141,000

Somalia

Capacity-building

1,000,000

1,141,000

Lebanon

Capacity-building

900,000

1,026,900

Myanmar

Clearance (survey) and risk education

500,000

570,500

Total

 

78,672,000

89,764,752

 

Mine action assistance approach

Mine action support has been described as one of “the high priorities of EU foreign policy,” and is closely linked to the realization of the 2030 Agenda and environmental considerations as well as the concepts of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis, management, post-conflict rehabilitation.[4]

In August 2017, the Council of the EU adopted a decision in support of the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.[5] The decision expired in 2021 and was replaced in February by a new decision to contribute to the full implementation of the Oslo Action Plan over a period of four years. The EU Council committed to contribute a total of €2.7 million ($3.3 million) to support mine clearance, risk education and reduction efforts, victim assistance, universalization efforts, and alternatives to the use of live antipersonnel mines for training purposes. As part of the decision, the EU also aims at strengthening awareness of the treaty among the international community.[6]

In 2018, the European Commission decided to restructure its external action funding architecture and elaborate a new instrument to unify all its policies, known as the Neighborhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). Following its adoption by the European Parliament in June 2021, the NDICI has become the EU’s main financial tool and integrates many of the instruments used for mine action assistance. As of June 2021, the total budget of the NDICI amounted to about €79.5 billion ($95.8 billion) for the period 2021–2027.[7]

COVID-19 and mine action support

In April 2020, as a result of the deteriorating situation due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, it was decided that funds initially allocated to mine action in BiH for 2018–2019 would be diverted to address COVID-19 and migration issues. As of September 2021, this was the only instance of a major diversion of EU mine action funding identified. The duration of several projects was also extended to address delays caused by the pandemic.[8]

Five-year support to mine action

In 2016–2020, the EU has consistently ranked among the top three donors to mine action, with its contribution over the five-year period totaling more than €365 million (more than $415 million). This represents a 52% increase to its total contribution during the previous five-year period from 2011–2015 when it provided €242 million, although after conversion into US dollars and as a result of the impact of the variation of exchange rates, this represents an increase of only 35% with $310.3 million provided.

Summary of contributions: 2016–2020[9]

Year

Amount

(€)

Amount

(US$)

% change from previous year

(US$)

2020

78,672,000

89,764,752

+18

2019

67,925,531

76,035,840

-30

2018

91,449,318

108,065,659

+60

2017

59,805,483

67,586,176

-12

2016

69,441,362

76,885,476

+227

Total

367,293,694

418,337,903

N/A

Note: N/A=not applicable.



[1] Email from Carole Ory, Senior Expert, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Export Control, European External Action Service (EEAS), 29 June 2021.

[2] Statement of Croatia, 24th International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors and United Nations Advisers (online), 25 May 2021.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2020: €1=US$1.1141. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2021.

[4] EEAS, “The European Union’s Support for Mine Action Across the World,” 2018; statement of the EU, Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (part 2), Geneva, 21 September 2021; statement of the EU, Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 19 November 2020; and statement of the EU, 946th meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation, 13 May 2020.

[5] Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1428 in support of the implementation of the Maputo Action Plan for the implementation of the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction, 4 August 2017.

[6] CFSP 2021/257 in support of the Oslo Action Plan for the implementation of the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, 18 February 2021. Average exchange rate for February 2021: €1=$1.2094. US Federal Reserve, “Foreign Exchange Rates – G.5 Monthly,” 1 March 2021.

[7] European Council, “EU external action budget: European Commission welcomes the final adoption of the EU’s new long-term external action budget for 2021–2027,” 9 June 2021. Average exchange rate for June 2021: €1=$1.2048. US Federal Reserve, “Foreign Exchange Rates – G.5 Monthly,” 1 July 2021.

[8] Email from Frank Meeussen, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Export Control, EEAS, 11 June 2020; and Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre; “Ten million EUR intended for humanitarian demining projects in BiH diverted to COVID 19 and migration issues,” 10 April 2020.

[9] See previous Monitor reports.