The European Commission early-warning architecture and crisis-response capacity

This paper maps early warning systems within the European Commission (as per the formal constitutional arrangements).

It was produced as part of the Initiative for Peacebuilding – Early Warning, a three year project funded by the European Commission to strengthen conflict prevention mechanisms within the EU, and especially to better link early warning to early action.

The paper starts by mapping pre-Lisbon Treaty early warning systems by setting out the main structures and actors involved. It then looks at how is conflict-related information gathered, analysed and then communicated to decision makers, and finally what the different options are for responding both to early signs of tension and on-going conflicts. It is being used by consortium partners to inform field based analysis in several conflict affected states (Saferworld will be producing case studies in Kenya and Kyrgyzstan).

The key findings from the paper are that:

 1)    There is no single streamlined early-warning system within the EC, but several different and parallel ways of gathering, analysing, and communicating information to inform several types of responses and actions.

2)    Mainstreaming conflict related information into programming processes is still challenging, despite policy commitments;

3)    Responding to conflict has mostly been reactive instead of preventive.


Find out more about the Initiative for Peacebuilding - Early Warning