Civilian crisis management

Civilian crisis management means the stabilisation and/or the prevented escalation of a conflict or crisis situation by means of non-military actions. Civilian crisis management can indeed take place during the whole life cycle of the crisis or conflict, preventative as well as in a later phase.

The European Union has been the first to develop the concept from 1999 onwards and has implemented it through civilian CSDP (Common Security and Defence policy) missions in the field. The mandates of these missions mainly focus on capacity building of the civilian security actors and institutions (especially the police) an the broader Rule of Law institutions. Since 2003 20 civilian missions have been established in three continents. At this moment 9 missions are still deployed in the field.

In order to plan, manage and support these missions , crisis management structures have been establish within the European External Action Service.

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Besides the EU, other multilateral organisations like OSCE, UN or NATO can also deploy civilian crisis management missions.

The Belgian vision and priorities have been written down in the  Belgian Strategy on Civilian Crisis Management (PDF, 355.99 KB) approved by the Council of Ministers on 19 May 2017.

Belgium favours a multilateral approach as it offers more opportunities for synergies and a greater impact.  Belgium considers the EU to be the first  (civilian) security provider and particular attention is given to the implementation of the civilian aspects of the EU-Global Strategy on Security and Defence (see When other organisations are better suited or complementary to address or manage a crisis in a region that is a priority for Belgium, or when Belgium has expertise in a specific niche that is useful to these missions, experts can also be deployed to a UN, OSCE or NATO mission. And finally a deployment in a bilateral civilian crisis management program or project is also possible.

In order to enhance the impact and efficiency Belgium opts for an integrated 3D or cross-sectoral approach.

Generic Training Civilian Crisismanagement  
Annual report CSDP missions