Reports 2016

Forward resilience – Protecting society in an interconnected world

13 December 2016


The notion of ‘resilience’ is gaining currency in European and Euro-Atlantic security policy discussions. The EU and NATO are each building the capacity of their member states to anticipate, pre-empt and resolve disruptive challenges to vital societal functions. They are also exploring ways to work more effectively together in this area. But is resilience enough to deal with disruptive threats in a deeply interconnected world? A new study on ’Forward Resilience: Protecting Society in an Interconnected World’ argues that, while state-by-state approaches to resilience are important, they are likely to be insufficient in a world where few critical infrastructures are limited to national borders and where robust resilience efforts by one country may mean little if its neighbour’s systems are weak. It calls, not only for resilience to be shared, but also for it to be projected forward, and that traditional notions of territorial security are supplemented with actions to address flow security - protecting critical links that bind societies to one another. This policy study was conducted by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Transatlantic Relations, together with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, the Swedish Atlantic Council and the Finnish Ministry of Defence. At this book launch event in Brussels, the authors joined NATO and EU officials and experts to assess resilience efforts to date and future needs, engaging afterwards in an interactive discussion with the audience.

Speakers included: Giovanni Grevi, Senior Fellow, European Policy Centre, Lorenz Meyer-Minnemann, Head of Sector, Protection Crisis Management and Terrorism, European Commission, DG Home Affairs and Migration, Eva-Maria Engdahl, Head of Sector, Protection Crisis Management and Terrorism, European Commission, DG Home Affairs and Migration, Axel Hagelstam, Counsellor, Civil Emergency Planning, Mission of Finland to NATO, Friederike Dahns, Political Advisor, Crisis Management and Protection of the Population, Ministry of Interior, Germany, Daniel Hamilton, Lead Author/Project Leader, Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor; Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations