Europe in the World
Partnership with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
A European Approach to Risk and Threat Management
One of the important objectives of the EU’s Internal Security Strategy is the development, by 2014, of a “coherent risk management policy, linking threat and risk assessments to decision making”. The intention is to build on the various initiatives underway in areas such as civil protection, health security, CBRN security, critical infrastructure protection and counter-terrorism. National assessments are to be aggregated at a European level and result in overviews capturing major risks and threats of relevance for European citizens. The objective also includes more joined-up EU assessments in acute crisis situations. Raised ambitions in the area of common risk and threat assessment can also be found in the wording of the Solidarity Clause (TFEU, Art. 222) which speaks of the need for the European Council to “regularly assess the threats facing the Union in order to enable the Union and Member states to take effective action.”
Enhanced cooperation on risks and threats presents challenges on many different levels. It requires EU institutions to develop their capacities for coordination and information management across policy areas. It also places demands on member states to produce and share national assessments according to EU guidelines and policies.
The overall goal is to attain a higher level of protection in Europe through the sharing of experiences and a more integrated view of different types of risks, including better planning systems that allow for more efficient European cooperation. To what extent will this reinforced cooperation on risks and threats lead to a higher level of national commitment and protection in Europe? Will it make Europe more resilient to crises and disasters? Will we see the emergence of new methods for coordination and governance in the area of internal security?