Building and fostering resilience

Discussion Paper

Peace, Security & Defence

Friends of Europe’s report ‘Building and fostering resilience’ brings its voice to the debate on resilience drawing from three timely and relevant events in 2018: on urban resilience and cities’ response to terrorism, on building climate resilience and on fighting back cyberattacks. The report captures the key contributions from these important debates and points the way forward for both policymakers and industry and civil society representatives.

Shocks to the system will be more frequent and potentially more destructive because we are multiplying rather than reducing our vulnerabilities. Our increasing vulnerabilities can be exploited by a multitude of actors. Increasingly networked communication systems, digitalised critical infrastructure and globalised supply chains present multiple choke points and attack surfaces that can be exploited. Soft target attacks by individuals and black swan events caused by weather conditions, disasters or pandemic are often impossible to anticipate.

We need to constantly map our vulnerabilities and work hard to better understand the interdependencies of our critical infrastructure. The key lesson from our report and event-series is that resilience can be strengthened. Good planning, organisation, exercises, sharing best practices and developing the right capabilities can save lives, lessen the impact of attacks and speed up recovery.

Our report on ‘Building and fostering resilience’ is not exhaustive, but it provides many valuable insights and shows how European and global resilience can be improved if we have the necessary political will as well as the time, effort and resources in place.

The report is divided into three parts:
Part 1: Terror and the city: Boosting urban resilience to violent extremism
Part 2: Building climate resilience: Cooperation, collaboration and foresight
Part 3: Building cyber resilience: Aligning strategies and increasing cooperation

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