In a time of crisis, the EU can respond politically diplomatically, economically, financially, militarily, judicially or through development aid. How the approach is authorised depends on the approach selected.
The biggest challenge is coordinating the range of response options – both civilian and military. The EEAS Crisis Response and Operational Coordination Department plays a part, helping the High Representative to ensure coherence. It also follows world events very closely so that the EEAS is able to respond to potential and emerging crises quickly.
The department also manages the EU Situation Room – a monitoring body that is on permanent standby to provide a front line service to the EU’s delegations and missions abroad or activate a crisis platform.
Permanent political and military structures are in place, under the umbrella of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) – to support the EU’s crisis management activities. CSDP missions have taken place around the world, from Bosnia and Kosovo to Niger, Congo and Somalia. They primarily support policy, judiciary and customs reforms and capacity-building.