The Council adopted conclusions on enhancing preparedness, response capability and resilience to future crises.
The conclusions, prepared by the Slovenian presidency, set out a series of measures designed to improve resilience, preparedness and response. They stress that the creation of the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) arrangements in 2013, under the oversight of Coreper, was already an important step towards supporting comprehensive situational awareness and decision-making at EU level, but the response to crises nonetheless needs to evolve, drawing on lessons from the migration crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the future, the EU must be ready to face difference crises of a different nature, which will require improved cross-sectoral and cross-border crisis management. Alongside this, enhanced strategic and crisis communication and fighting disinformation are crucial to support response to crises and build public confidence.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to work together to strengthen the resilience of the single market to disruptions, including to key EU supply chains and economic sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and semiconductors, also taking into account the situation of cross-border communities and vital transit regions.
Given the indispensable role of the single market for the EU, the Council emphasises that crisis-related measures should be temporary, proportionate and fully coordinated, with the objective of resuming as soon as possible the normal functioning of the single market, including the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital as foreseen in the Treaties.
In June, the European Council requested work be taken forward on enhancing EU’s collective preparedness, response capability and resilience to future crises and to protect the functioning of the internal market.
The Ministers of European Affairs, at their informal meeting in July 2021 in Brdo subsequently supported the efforts of the presidency towards a more comprehensive response to crises and now the General Affairs Council has approved these conclusions.