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Title: The EU's comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises
Author: European Commission
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Series/Date: JOIN (2013) 30 final (11.12.13)
Source Origin: EU
Source Type: Policy-making
Source URL: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=JOIN:2013:030:FIN
Homepage URL: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/collection/eu-law/pre-acts.html
Keywords: Conflict prevention - Peace building
Subjects:  18.3.e - Crisis Management and Response
Geographic Indicators:  European Union
The Treaty of Lisbon sets out the principles, aims and objectives of the external action of the European Union. In the pursuit of these objectives, the Treaty calls for consistency between the different areas of EU external action and between these and its other policies. Following the entry into force of the Treaty and the new institutional context it created, including the creation of the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security as well as the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU has both the increased potential and the ambition – by drawing on the full range of its instruments and resources – to make its external action more consistent, more effective and more strategic.

The concept of such a comprehensive approach is not new as such. It has already been successfully applied as the organizing principle for EU action in many cases in recent years, for example, in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and the Great Lakes. However, the ideas and principles governing the comprehensive approach have yet to become, systematically, the guiding principles for EU external action across all areas, in particular in relation to conflict prevention and crisis resolution.

This Joint Communication sets out a number of concrete steps that the EU, collectively, is taking towards an increasingly comprehensive approach in its external relations policies and action. More specifically the High Representative and the Commission are setting out their common understanding of the EU's comprehensive approach to external conflict and crises and fully committing to its joint application in the EU's external policy and action. This understanding covers all stages of the cycle of conflict or other external crises; through early warning and preparedness, conflict prevention, crisis response and management to early recovery, stabilisation and peace-building in order to help countries getting back on track towards sustainable long-term development.

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