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On June 7, The European Union presented its strategy to bolster resilience by adopting a long-term approach to global challenges with a “particular emphasis on anticipation, prevention and preparedness” instead of crisis containment alone.

The plan aims to address resilience at all levels – from the individual to states – through its External Action Service. The European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini outlined the plan to provide states and communities with support that will better help them grow and adapt in the face of long term pressures. Of managing complex and emerging risks, Mogherini stated, “We want to prevent these fragile situations from turning into new wars, new humanitarian catastrophes, or new refugee crises. This is what we call resilience.”

European Commission (Flickr/Sébastien Bertrand)

The EU’s plan involves the mobilization of humanitarian aid, private investment, climate action, and military missions as a means to improve resilience and both internal and external resilience. According to the EU, internal and external security must be integrated “in order to strengthen our response to hybrid threats, cyber-security, the security of critical infrastructure, terrorism and violent extremism.”

In its strategy, the EU reaffirmed its commitments under the Paris Climate Accord acknowledging that climate and environmental resilience is an inherent aspect of state and societal resilience.

On June 1, however, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord citing concerns over “lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”

On June 2, Global Resilience Institute (GRI) Associate Director Jennie Stephens spoke with Jason Kornwitz of News@Northeastern about the implications of the decision. According to Stephens “Every country in the world is already confronting risks posed by climate change—ignoring or denying the costs of climate disruption does not make those risks go away. In fact, climate risks are increasing all the time and we’re losing ground in terms of building climate resilience when U.S. leadership is unwilling to even acknowledge these risks.”

Sources and Further Reading

  1. EU presents its strategy for more resilient states and societies around the world – European Commission
  2. Joint Communication on “A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s External Action” – European Commission
  3. Professor Calls Withdrawal From Climate Accord a ‘Sad’ Humanitarian Failure – News@Northeastern