05 Dec 2019

Europe’s Coherence Gap in External Crisis and Conflict Management

The EU’s Integrated Approach between Political Rhetoric and Institutional Practice

Loes Debuysere / Steven Blockmans

Download Publication


The European Union aspires to play a part in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict peacebuilding through civil and/or military operations, through stabilisation efforts, and by building resilience at home and abroad. To bring this ambition to fruition, EU institutions have gradually expanded their ‘comprehensive approach to external conflict and crisis’ to become a full-fledged ‘integrated approach to conflict and crisis’. But has the EU’s commitment (words) to an ‘integrated approach’ truly become a working methodology (deeds)?

Authored by Loes Debuysere and Steven Blockmans, this report was written in the framework of the research project “Europe’s coherence gap in external crisis and conflict management: Political rhetoric and institutional practice in the EU and its member states”. In this project, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) have joined forces to assess whether, how and with what degree of success whole-of-government approaches are being implemented in the conflict response of the EU and its member states. 


The report, published by Bertelsmann Stiftung, is accessible here.

Loes Debuysere is Researcher in the Europe in the World research unit at CEPS and Steven Blockmans is Head of EU Foreign Policy at CEPS and Professor of EU Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam.