EU Crisis Management and Conflict Prevention. Identifying Institutional Constrains for Early Warning Analysis Utilization


  • Maciej Stępka Jagiellonian University in Kraków



conflict prevention, early warning systems, Common Foreign and Security Policy, European External Action Service


Early warning systems are responsible for monitoring crisis situations and generating warning signals of situations which escalate and pose a threat to international and human security. The application of this instrument often determines the success of preventive measures and efficiency of further crisis management. Being aware of the importance of this mechanism, the EU invested substantial resources for its development within the CFSP/CSDP framework. Nonetheless, the faulty institutional design and insufficient analytical capabilities of the EEAS put the applicability of the system in question. The article analyses a set of early warning institutional arrangements embedded in CFSP/CSDP institutional structure. In doing so, it describes and examines the main institutional and systemic constrains of early warning utilization in the EU conflict prevention framework.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Maciej Stępka, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Holds MSc in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and MA in European Studies from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków ( JU); PhD candidate at the Institute of European Studies at the JU Kraków. Received PRELUDIUM and ETIUDA research grants funded by National Science Centre, Poland, and was a guest researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for Contemporary European Studies (UvA) (2017), Utrecht University (2016), and Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica (2012, 2015). His research interests revolve around critical policy and security studies, European integration as well as border and migration studies.


Adelman H., Schmeidl S., “Towards the Development of an Early Warning/Response Network”, Refuge, vol. 15, no. 4 (1996). DOI:

Adelman H., Suhrke A., Early Warning and Conflict Management, Steering Committee of the Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda, Kopenhagen 1996.

Austin A., “Early Warning and The Field: A Cargo Cult Science?”, in idem, M. Fischer, N. Ropers (eds.), Transforming Ethnopolitical Conflict, Wiesbaden 2004. DOI:

Beswick T., EU Early Warning and Response Capacity for Conflict Prevention in the Post‑Lisbon Era, The Hague 2012.

Beswick T., Improving Institutional Capacity for Early Warning. Synthesis Report, The Hague 2012.

Boin A., ’t Hart P., McConnell A., “Crisis Exploitation: Political and Policy Impacts of Framing

Contests”, Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 16, no. 1 (2009), at <>.

Boin A. et al., The Politics of Crisis Management, New York 2005. DOI:

Cameron F., An Introduction to European Foreign Policy, London–New York 2012. DOI:

Carment D., Garner K., “Early Warning and Conflict Prevention: Problems, Pitfalls and Avenues for Success”, Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, vol. 6, no. 2 (1999) , at <>. DOI:

Choo C.W., “Information Use and Early Warning Effectiveness: Perspectives and Prospects”, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, vol. 60, no. 5 (2009), at <>. DOI:

Davies J.L., Gurr T.R., Preventive Measures. Building Risk Assessment and Crisis Early Warning Systems, Lanham 1998.

Duke S., “The European External Action Service: Antidote against Incoherence?”, European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 17, no. 1 (2012).

Dunn Cavelty M., Mauer V., “Postmodern Intelligence: Strategic Warning in an Age of Reflexive Intelligence”, Security Dialogue, vol. 40, no. 2 (2009), at <>. DOI:

EEAS Organizational Chart, at <>.

Freedman L., “The Politics of Warning: Terrorism and Risk Communication”, Intelligence and National Security, vol. 20 (2005), at <>. DOI:

Gourlay C., “European Union Procedures and Resources for Crisis Management”, International Peacekeeping, vol. 11, no. 3 (2004), at <>. DOI:

Gross E., Juncos A.E., EU Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management. Roles, Institutions, and Policies, London–New York 2010. DOI:

Gruszczak A., “EU Intelligence‑led Policing: The Case of Counter‑terrorism Cooperation”, in M. O’Neill, K. Swinton, A. Winter (eds.), New Challenges for the EU Internal Security Strategy, Newcastle upon Tyne 2013.

Gruszczak A., “Technologie satelitarne na rzecz bezpieczeństwa Unii Europejskiej”, Kultura i Polityka, no. 16 (2014).

Harff B., Gurr T.R., “Systematic Early Warning of Humanitarian Emergencies”, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 35, no. 5 (1998), at <>. DOI:

Hauser G., Kernic F. (eds.), European Security in Transition, Aldershot 2006.

Henökl T., “Conceptualizing the European Diplomatic Space: A Framework for Analysis of the European External Action Service”, Journal of European Integration, vol. 36, no. 5 (2014), at <>. DOI:

Hynek N., “EU Crisis Management after the Lisbon Treaty: Civil‑Military Coordination and the Future of the EU OHQ”, European Security, vol. 20, no. 1 (2011), at <>. DOI:

Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council, The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflict and crises ( JOIN/2013/0030), Brussels, 11 December 2013.

Keukeleire S., Delreux T., The Foreign Policy of the European Union, Houndmills–New York 2014. DOI:

Koutrakos P., The EU Common Security and Defence Policy, Oxford 2013. DOI:

Manners I., “Sociology of Knowledge and Production of Normative Power in the European Union’s External Actions”, Journal of European Integration, vol. 37, no. 2 (2015), at <>. DOI:

Mazurkiewicz A., “NATO and EU Approach Towards Civil‑Military Relations”, Polityka i Społeczeństwo, vol. 2, no. 12 (2014).

Montanaro L., Schünemann J., Walk the Talk. The EU Needs an Effective Early Warning System to Match its Ambitions to Prevent Conflict and Promote Peace, Madrid 2011.

Peterson J., Helene S., A Common Foreign Policy for Europe? Competing Visions of the CFSP, London–New York 2005. DOI:

Phythian M., Gill P., Marrin S. (eds.), Intelligence Theory. Key Questions and Debates, London–New York 2008.

Pohl B., “The Logic Underpinning EU Crisis Management Operations”, European Security, vol. 22, no. 3 (2013), at <>. DOI:

Post S., Toward a Whole‑of‑Europe Approach. Organizing the European Union’s and Member States’ Comprehensive Crisis Management, Berlin 2015. DOI:

Presidency Conclusions, EU Programme for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts (Gothenburg Programme), Gothenburg, 15‑16 June 2001.

Rehrl J., Weisserth H.‑B. (eds.), Handbook on CSDP. The Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union, Directorate for Security Policy of the Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports of the Republic of Austria, Vienna 2010.

Ricci A. (ed.), From Early Warning to Early Action? The Debate on the Enhancement of the EU’s Crisis Response Capability Continues, Brussels 2008.

Romsloe B., “EUs utenriks‑ og sikkerhetspolitikk – teori og praksis”, Internasjonal politikk, vol. 63, no. 1 (2005).

Rusu S., “Principles and Practice of Conflict Early Warning”, Conflict, Security & Development, vol. 1, no. 2 (2001), at <>. DOI:

A Secure Europe in a Better World – European Security Strategy, Brussels, 12 December 2003.

Smith M.E., Europe’s Foreign and Security Policy. The Institutionalization of Cooperation, Cambridge 2004. DOI:

Smith M.E., “The European External Action Service and the Security‑Development Nexus: Organizing for Effectiveness or Incoherence?”, Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 20, no. 9 (2013), at < 10.1080/13501763.2012.758441>. DOI:

Spence D., “The Early Days of the European External Action Service: A Practitioner’s View”, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, vol. 7, no. 1 (2012), at <>. DOI:

Steindler C., “Mapping Out the Institutional Geography of External Security in the EU”, European Security, vol. 24, no. 3 (2015), at <>. DOI:

Tonra B., “European Union Security Dynamics: In the New National Interest”, European Security, vol. 20, no. 4 (2011), at <>. DOI:

Walraven K. van (ed.), Early Warning and Conflict Prevention. Limitations and Possibilities, The Hague 1998.

Zenko M., Friedman R.R., “UN Early Warning for Preventing Conflict”, International Peacekeeping, vol. 18, no. 1 (2011), at <>. DOI:




How to Cite

Stępka, Maciej. 2017. “EU Crisis Management and Conflict Prevention. Identifying Institutional Constrains for Early Warning Analysis Utilization”. Politeja 14 (4(49):127-42.