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Resilience and the role of the European Union in the world


The idea of resilience in EU academia and practice predates the EU Global Strategy. But it is with the 2016 EUGS that resilience was elevated into one of the five guiding principles for the EU’s role in the world. This article recounts the origins of the concept in the context of European foreign policy. Resilience reflected the implicit goal of the EUGS to foster a more joined-up approach to European foreign policy, it epitomized the philosophy of principled pragmatism enshrined in the EUGS, and it captured the transformative approach to complex change advocated by the EU. The implementation of the EUGS over the last three years has been a story of lights and shadows. However, the idea of resilience lives on also and perhaps even more importantly because of its changing interpretation in the European policy debate.
Keywords: Resilience, European Union, security, European foreign policy, EU Global Strategy