On the following pages you will find useful information relating to the EU's efforts and activities in crisis response, in which the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the 'Department for Crisis Response & Operational Coordination' play a central coordinating role.
A guiding principle of Lisbon Treaty provisions, which also lie at the heart of the very purpose of the EEAS, is the desire to achieve a substantial increase in 'responsiveness' to the opportunities and challenges that exist beyond EU borders. Adequate EU action during external emergencies, which require ad-hoc decision making, is no exemption to this.
Crisis response implies the immediate mobilisation of EU resources to deal with the consequences of external crises caused by man-made and natural disasters.
The EU is an organisation that can and should activate all relevant instruments (political, diplomatic, economic, financial, military, consular, judicial and development aid related) when responding to emerging or on-going crises.
Ensuring a coherent response to crises is part of the EU’s wider efforts in its external relations, in close cooperation with the Member States, to turn the 'comprehensive approach' into comprehensive action, i.e. the effective use and sequencing of the entire range of tools and instruments. This applies to the whole crisis cycle, including conflict prevention and crisis response, crisis management, stabilisation and longer-term recovery, reconciliation, reconstruction as well as development, in order to preserve peace and strengthen international security.
In other words, an effective response - in real time - to acute crises and disasters, which are often unexpected or difficult to predict, is an integral part of the comprehensive approach to foreign affairs, and helps ensure continuity between and sustainability of the EU's short, medium and long term efforts.