All over the world, we are witnessing victims of crises and conflicts and the instability they create. These may result from social, economic and environmental injustice, often leading to violence and war. We have also seen the emergence of hybrid threats which instigate vulnerabilities and put peace at risk. Globalisation has increased dependency and rising inequalities are posing a serious challenge to sustainable development.
In light of this fragile environment, we welcome the EU Global Strategy that has set resilience as one of the EU’s strategic priorities in its external action. The current geopolitical context requires efforts to strengthen the resilience capacities of people, families, communities, states and societies in order to prepare them for situations of shock and stress.
Declaring resilience as a strategic priority of the EU is an important step. In the follow-up, the EU High Representative and the European Commission should elaborate a Joint Communication that provides a precise understanding and identifies effective ways in the EU’s policy framework to put resilience into practice. In this respect, the EU should invest adequate personal and financial resources in order to fully realise the potential of resilience.
COMECE, Pax Christi International and Justice & Peace Europe hope that the Joint Communication can help to make the necessary steps forward, and we recommend, in particular, the following:
1. to include and prioritise in the definition of resilience, the individual, family and community levels, with particular attention for the most vulnerable members, and reflect the full spectrum of abilities potentially needed at all stages of the crisis cycle and beyond.
2. to mainstream the strengthening of resilience into all the EU’s external and internal policies with the objective of contributing to sustainable development and peace.
3. to take a sufficiently ambitious and long-term approach and take into account the global geopolitical context, and not to understand resilience merely as a shift of responsibility to third countries.
4. to pursue an empowerment approach based on subsidiarity, solidarity, participation, dialogue, partnership and local co-owrneship, with full respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles as indispensable parts of this process.
5. to apply an integral approach with policies that are people-centered, comprehensive, multisectoral, context-specific and forward-looking.
6. to create structural synergies between different EU policy areas, bring together different types of actors and instruments, and engage stakeholders at and across different levels with appropriate and inclusive platforms for dialogue, cooperation and coordination.
7. to carry out risk and vulnerability analyses for understanding the local context and the underlying causes of crisis in the wider external environment.
8. to elaborate in dialogue with all the stakeholders tailor-made initiatives and invest in nonviolent approaches to conflict at all levels.
9. to strengthen civic space by supporting and actively involving civil society actors, Churches and religious communities in resilience processes.
10. to develop indicators of resilience-fostering efforts based on sustainable development factors.
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