European Union

State and Societal Resilience

State and Societal Resilience

Building resilience at home and abroad means creating a more responsive union. The EU is focused on enhancing resilience in both states and societies, which includes improving good governance, accountability, and creating a better space for civil society to act. In particular, resilience-building is targeting the EU's surrounding regions in the East and the South, spanning from Central Asia to Central Africa.

For example, the EU is helping to sustain the democratic and economic progress in Tunisia that has taken place since the 2011 Revolution. This is being done by financial assistance to tackle problems such as youth unemployment, or various research and educational programmes. This helps to develop a society where all Tunisians – men and women alike – can enjoy individual freedom and greater participation in economic and political life. This contributes to the resilience of Tunisia, helping it tackle complex challenges during its vulnerable transition.

To further boost the EU's resilience-strengthening efforts, the European External Action Service and European Commission are working on a "Joint Communication on Resilience" to be released in 2017. This document will build on previous work the EU has done in the past, identify key criteria and partners, and ultimately give greater clarity to how resilience can and should be streamlined into EU external action in the future.

The Joint Communication on Resilience will link to other EU work related to resilience, such as:

The New European Consensus on Development, which links resilience to the EU development agenda;

The New European Neighbourhood Policy, which will address the roots of state and societal instability;

The Warsaw EU-NATO Joint Declaration, which references resilience in terms of defence and security capacities.


For some information on the EU's existing work on Resilience:

2012 Communication -The EU Approach to Resilience: Learning from Food Security Crises

Trade, growth and development (2012)

2013 Council conclusions on the EU approach to resilience

2013 European Parliament resolution on the EU approach to resilience and disaster risk reduction in developing countries: learning from food security crises

2013 Commission Staff Working Document on an Action Plan for Resilience in Crisis Prone Countries 2013-2020

2014 Communication on the short term resilience of the European gas system

2015 Joint Communication - A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy

2015 Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

2016 Communication - Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats a European Union response

2016 Communication  – Lives in dignity: from aid- dependence to self-reliance - Forced Displacement and Development