A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s External Action



7 June 2017


European Commission (Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council)


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 the more fluid landscape of global challenges and risks that the EU global strategy describes.

This Joint Communication 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. This Joint Communication also proposes 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 Resilience, 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. It 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.