Lesson 06: Internal coordination


One of the key challenges for the EU’s development of an integrated approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding involves the fact that no central body within the EU itself has complete authority over this policy domain. Instead, it is decentralised and requires extensive coordination among a range of stakeholders, in Brussels and beyond. In addition, a number of stakeholders in the EU (e.g. Commission, EEAS) have developed their own capacities for related tasks, such as conflict analysis and crisis management, that may undermine the EU’s coherence, and thus effectiveness, if they fail to communicate and/or work at cross-purposes.

Accordingly, this need for greater internal coordination was identified by three research outputs produced by EU-CIVCAP. For example, DL 2.1 noted that internal coherence and coordination are core organisational goals of the EU, especially in the areas of equipment, staff training, and logistics. Yet DL 2.1 found that various aspects of conflict prevention and peacebuilding (such as civilian, military, and intelligence aspects) were lacking in their overall coherence and exhibited special problems regarding the tasks of early warning and coordination between EU and national institutions.

Likewise, in the realm of technological shortcomings, DL 3.1 found that the EU was not coordinating very well the use of various technologies in terms of early warning and conflict analysis. This lack of coordination also prevented the EU from effectively bridging the early warning-response gap, limited the potential for interconnectivity between various stakeholders and their activities, and resulted in some degree of duplication of resources and effort.

DL 3.2 also identified a coordination problem between the EEAS/Commission regarding their responsibility to provide coherent and consistent leadership within and across the EU’s external action machinery, and particularly, in relation to conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Further, and in addition to adequate standing resources and mission support resources, the relevant EEAS/Commission stakeholders (PRISM and DEVCO B.7) also need to have access to high-level decision-making so that the EU coordinates its efforts to prevent important conflicts as well as respond to urgent crises.


Strengthen civilian/military/intelligence synergies, with specific reference to early warning between EU & national institutions. Update, mainstream, and coordinate various technological capacities and their use within different services dealing with conflict early warning and conflict analysis. Enhance coordination over staff selection/training among relevant ministries of EU member states.

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_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]




dl_3-2DL 3.2: The EU’s Capabilities for Conflict Prevention

Authors: Davis, L., N. Habbida and A. Penfrat
Institution: European Peacebuilding Liaison Office

Published: 30 January 2017

[PDF, ~1MB; click to access]



DL 4.3: Report on EU comprehensive approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding

Authors: Faleg, G.N. PirozziB. Venturi and N. Habbida
Lead Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies

Published: 23 March 2018

[PDF, ~0.8MB; click to access]


DL 5.4
The EU’s Comprehensive Approach and its Implementation

Authors: Zartsdahl, P.H.K. Đokić and S. Simons
Lead Institution: Roskilde University

Published: 29 November 2018

[PDF, ~2.1MB; click to access]



Related Lessons


Regions/countries: N/A

Institutions: EC EEAS

Policy phases: Planning Implementation

Conflict-cycle stages: Conflict prevention

Cross-cutting issues: Warning-response gap Civil-military coordination

Topics: Personnel Technology

Back to the Catalogue of Lessons Identified