TU Delft helps the EU to improve its strategic crisis management
TU Delft Resilience professor Tina Comes played a central role in advising the EU on how to improve its role in transboundary crises. Today she handed over the synthesis of the scientific evidence on crisis management to two European Commissioners and the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Comes chaired the working group that collected the latest scientific evidence and evidence-based policy options to help the EU rethink its approach to risk and crisis management.
From pandemics to the climate crisis, from the war in Ukraine to the energy crisis. Crises have become the new normal. According to Comes, these crises amplify each other: “They have cascading and overlapping effects on society, the economy and the environment and they cross borders. They amplify inequalities and hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Therefore, the EU needs to rethink approaches to risk and crisis management.”
To collect and review the evidence on crises, a working group was installed by the EU’s Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) mechanism and chaired by Comes. The review contains the latest scientific evidence and evidence-based policy options on how the EU can improve its strategic crisis management and informed the Scientific Opinion of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.
The working group reviewed the literature on strategic crisis management, covering a truly broad spectrum of questions: from crisis governance and law to trust and inequality; from the use of technology and data to improved participation. Because there are many crises that the EU has been and will be confronted with, the academics distilled the generic principles of strategic crisis management from the literature.
There is hope
Urgency, complexity, increasingly long-lasting and entangled crises pose new challenges to the EU. The Evidence Review Report highlights that strategic crisis management needs to be aligned with broader policy objectives: "The strategic decisions we make during crises shape our society in the long run" says Tina Comes. “We need to recognize that the response to one crisis can create amplifying risks for another crisis or sector. Therefore, risk and crisis management need to be thought together.”
Yet, there is hope, Comes stated in Strasbourg today. “Over the past decades, we have developed a broad range of tools and methods to manage crises. We have more data and information than ever before. There are many opportunities and policy options that we put forward in our report. Improving strategic foresight and scenario analysis; training of decision-makers at all levels; investing in data preparedness and establishing strong knowledge networks all can contribute to a better strategic crisis management in Europe.”
Join the webinar
Tina Comes will speak at the public webinar Entangled crisis: how can the EU help? on Thursday 24 November at 10AM. Registrations are still open here.
About the TU Delft
Tina Comes heads the Resilience Lab of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management of Delft University of Technology. Fuelled by a plethora of crises, resilience has rapidly risen to the forefront of the political and research agenda. The TPM Resilience Lab is driven by an engaged community committed to the lab’s vision of pushing scientific boundaries by analysing and solving urgent resilience challenges. Our research is dedicated to resilience in interdependent systems. We use our engineering methods to analyse how crises and shocks cascade through connected technical, social and environmental systems. From there, we design solutions to better mitigate and manage crises, and foster just long-term transitions.
SAPEA is a consortium of academy networks that includes over a hundred academies, young academies, and learned societies. As part of the Scientific Advice Mechanism, SAPEA was asked to support the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors in preparing advice on this topic. The evidence we gathered will inform their Scientific Opinion.
More information about the process is available online.