Today June 7th, the EC issued a press release setting out the new EU strategy for more resilient states and societies around the world. The goal of this strategy is to move from crisis containment to a more structural and long-term approach to global challenges. Instead of spending enormous resources to react in the aftermath of events, it emphasizes an approach based on anticipation, prevention and preparedness. This will guide the EU’s external action as presented by the EU Global Strategy.
Handling disruptive pressures and shocks has become the new normal across the world. It is beyond the power of any individual state to confront today's demographic, climate change, environmental or migratory challenges, as well as the unpredictable consequences of economic shocks, conflict and violent extremism.
Taking this into account, The Commission emphasizes “three linked lines” for shifting towards a more preventive approach:
- Expanded assistance for partner countries' resilience – The EU will continue to support domestic efforts of partner countries to become more resilient, with the help of broadened political, development and humanitarian support. This includes strengthening inclusive and participatory societies, alleviating long-lasting crises or preventing violent conflict. It will also take into account the vulnerabilities and needs of forcibly displaced people, while also recognising the positive contribution of migrants to inclusive growth and sustainable development.
- Policy dialogue and bilateral initiatives: The EU can draw upon significant experience of addressing complex domestic policy challenges and enhancing resilience. Examples of this include its work on energy security, climate adaptation, economic and social policy or addressing global health risks. Having invested heavily in research on resilience, the European Union is ready to share these insights with its international partners.
- Resilience and the security of the Union : Internal and external security dimensions of EU policy have to be closely integrated, in order to strengthen our response to hybrid threats, cyber-security, the security of critical infrastructure, terrorism and violent extremism. The European Union proposes to strengthen work on countering external disinformation strategies, as well as to further develop cooperation with NATO and the OSCE. In line with these priorities, the EU has for example stepped up its funding to €300 million for projects aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism and has deployed counter-terrorism experts in a number of key countries.
The EU and its Member States are subject to many of the same pressures, which also challenge the resilience of its external partners and expose their vulnerabilities. European external policy has a strong role to play also in ensuring the resilience within the borders of the EU. This comes at a time when the Union has a greater responsibility than ever before to contribute to the security of its citizens.