Sweden, Finland urge EU to open an independent peace institute

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden and Finland are urging the European Union to create an independent peace institute to broaden the scope of the bloc's peacekeeping efforts around the world.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb say an independent think tank could have better opportunities to help solve conflicts than traditional diplomacy.

Their proposed institute would be modeled on the U.S. Institute of Peace, which is funded by the U.S. Congress but run by an independent board.

The ministers sent a letter with the suggestion to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday. They said they hoped to get support from other EU member countries for the initiative.