Knowledge for policy
Publication 23 November 2018

2017 Joint Communication -A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU's External Action

The EU and its Member States have established a robust policy framework to guide the Union's external action, anchored in Article 21 of the Treaty and the Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy1("EU global strategy"), and linked to commitments they have taken at global and regional level. The challenge now is how to sustain progress in the transformational agenda the EU has set itself, against a backdrop of a more  connected,  contested  and  complex  global  environment. The  EU  global  strategy identifies strengthening state and societal resilience as part of the response to this challenge.

The aim of this Joint Communication is to identify how a strategic approach to resilience can increase the impact of EU external action and sustain progress towards EU development, humanitarian, foreign and security policy objectives, given themore fluid landscape of global challenges and risks that the EU global strategy describes. It recognises the need to move away from crisis containment to a more structural, long-term, non-linear approach to vulnerabilities, with an emphasis on anticipation, prevention and preparedness.

It argues that given the rapidly changing environment, a political approach is needed, underpinned by a coherent mobilisation of political dialogue, the diplomatic resources of the Union and its Member States, EU assistance and sectoral policy dialogue and bilateral initiatives. And itproposes the principles and working methods that need to be put in place to implement  it.  It  builds  upon  the  experience  of  implementing  the  2012  Commission Communication on Resilience2, which continues to guide relevant EU work, as well as experience drawn from the EU's promotion of resilience when addressing complex domestic policy challenges.

This Joint Communication also recognises that the EU is not insulated from the pressures affecting its external partners, and that EU external policy can make a contribution to strengthening resilience within the Union itself. In that spirit it proposes that proper linkages need to be established between internal and external policy, particularly in relation to the European Agenda on Security.