Armed conflicts around the world have continued largely unabated, irrespective of the global pandemic. Despite influencing conflict-affected contexts, the pandemic has not (thus far) been a gamechanger regarding conflicts.
Both non-state and state actors have tried to seize opportunities stemming from the pandemic measures for their own benefit. This, along with changes in the footprint of peacebuilding efforts, has threatened human security.
In the long term, socioeconomic repercussions of the pandemic pose the gravest threats to peace. The socioeconomic fallout can induce conflict by undermining the social contract and social cohesion, particularly in contexts with conflict legacies, deep inequalities, and high external economic dependencies.
The EU has multiple tools that it can deploy in its external action to mitigate the conflict-inducing repercussions of the pandemic. Taking preventive action requires a long-term perspective, even amidst the unfolding crisis.