Lesson 31: Pooling & sharing capabilities


Following on from personnel-focused Lessons Identified (Lessons 2 and 3) and those discussing technologies (Lessons 8, 9, 10, 25 and 26), DL 2.5 examined more closely the role of pooling and sharing (P&S) capabilities in the realm of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The process associated with this lesson was launched in 2010, after an informal meeting of EU defence ministers, and could be leveraged more to help enhance the EU’s overall toolkit for handling conflict prevention and peacebuilding-related tasks. As DL 2.5 notes, there is one clear success story involving P&S (the European Air Transport Command), yet this approach to developing resources simply has not been pursued as vigorously as some had hoped. In some ways, in fact, P&S has been overtaken by more recent initiatives, such as Permanent Structured Cooperation, the Capability Development Plan, the European Defence Fund, and others.

Building on the earlier research findings of Work Package 2 (WP2 PREPARE: Capabilities in conflict prevention and peacebuilding – Technology, personnel and procedures), DL 2.5 argues that there is still considerable room for improvement of the P&S concept in the realm of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. These include the sharing of training facilities; the pooling of experts and recruitment procedures; the deployment of satellite systems usable for both earth observation and satellite communication purposes; and RPAS. In addition, the EU should attempt to leverage its various already-existing institutions and partnerships to support these efforts; including the EDA, the European Security and Defence College, Frontex, Europol, the European Space Agency and the EU Satellite Centre. These efforts, finally, could be supported in a more consistent and systematic fashion by functionally-related institutions and capabilities in EU member states; positive examples of this include the Multinational Space-based Imaging System for Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Observation (MUSIS), the EU Satellite Communications Market programme, and the Eurodrone programme.


The potential for P&S in the realm of conflict prevention and peacebuilding could be enhanced by incentivising ex ante information-sharing among EU member states and avoiding duplication of effort through ongoing monitoring and coordination. In the area of training and recruitment, the EU needs to continue the harmonisation of training at the EU level, establish mandatory pre-deployment training, particularly regarding dual-use technologies, and standardising recruitment systems. Other specific measures include the creation of a European pool of RPAS assets that could be used for conflict prevention and peacebuilding tasks and harnessing the Civilian CSDP Compact.

Related Deliverables

dl_2-1DL 2.1
Procedures, Personnel and Technologies for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: An Assessment of EU Member States’ Capabilities

Authors: De Zan, T.P. Tessari and B. Venturi
Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali

Published: 30 November 2016

[PDF, ~2.1MB; click to access]


DL 2.5
Dual use technologies and civilian capabilities: Beyond pooling and sharing

Authors: Aversano Stabile, A.A. MarroneN. Pirozzi and B. Venturi
Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali

Published: 25 September 2018

[PDF, ~0.5MB; click to access]


dl_3-1DL 3.1
Report on Technological Shortcomings in Early Warning and Conflict Analysis

Authors: Berglund, J. and D. Bruckert
Institution: European Union Satellite Centre

Published: 30 January 2017

[PDF, ~1.5MB; click to access]