Survey Report on EU-Sectoral Approaches


March 2016


Jaziar Radianti (CIEM)

Jose J. Gonzalez (CIEM), Leire Labaka, Josune Hernantes, Maider Sainz (TECNUN), Amy Rankin (LiU)



Lead Partner

Centre for Integrated Emergency Management (CIEM), University of Agder 

This report contains an analysis of European Sectorial approaches to resilience. The report includes (1) a systematic literature review of three problem areas covered in SMR project: resilience in critical infrastructure, climate change and social dynamics, (2) a review of EU project reports both FP7 and H2020 in the area of Secure Societies and Climate Change related to resilience in these three problem areas and the city resilience is a part of the focus, and (3) repository of policies and best practices as well as metric and indicators identified from this review. The work in this deliverable has been aimed at a deepening our understanding of European dimension of resilience. The report will provide a basis for the SMR project when operationalising the concept of resilience to a practical level and city context as a backbone for resilience of European cities. In each problem area, we pose the following questions:

  • How have different EU projects interpreted, defined, used and applied the resilience concepts in critical infrastructure, climate change, and social dynamics sectors?
  • What kinds of resilience challenges and approaches exist in the area of critical infrastructure, climate change, and social dynamics?
  • How is the resilience concept applied in different EU sectorial projects?
  • What are the recommended policies to increase the city resilience with respect to the critical infrastructure?
  • How can the sectorial application of resilience be linked to urban or city resilience, or even to be a backbone of EU city resilience?

Results from the work of this task show the different applications of resilience concepts in EU sectorial policies and projects in each problem area. The review has identified common topics in the areas of critical infrastructure resilience, climate change resilience, and social dynamics.

The analysis in critical infrastructure area shows the resilience is mostly used interchangeably or together with protection concepts, although there are more growing attention on the intertwined across CI sectors where the interdependencies and cascading effects play a role. However, most recent projects have started to include the concept of adaptive capacity to climate change link to critical infrastructure by, e.g. taking into consideration whether or not the critical infrastructure facilities located in the hazard-prone areas.

The analysis in the climate change area shows that the transition toward the city and urban resilience in a number of climate change-related projects is evident, especially after the adoption of EU strategy for adaptation to climate change in 2013. Prior to 2013, the city resilience is often linked to resilience against floods. The recent trends show that city resilience to climate change is the interplay of three measures: the city infrastructure (grey measures), the city environment (green measures), and adapting the human behaviours (soft measures). Furthermore, analysis of climate change linking to the city resilience has touched upon the following topics: the governance (organisations, risks multilevel governance), public-private partnerships and financing the resilience.

The link between social dynamics and resilience is also an elusive one when comes to implementation and operationalisation. The problems point into several directions: it is about adaptive capacity to CC and human health; it is about social vulnerability and how to increase social resilience of these vulnerable groups in the society, including how to integrate the asylum seekers into the European society, and it is about the individual ability to cope with and recover from hazards.

Overall, there is a huge variety of policy suggestions across the numerous EU projects targeting resilience, but no consensus what can be considered as policy for enhancing city resilience and apparently no guidelines to implement it. Furthermore, operationalisation and measuring the resilience of the city is still lacking.

In the end of this document we try to link all the most important dimensions and indicators that have been identified from the EU projects and policies with respect to these three problem areas, as a repository to build further the European Resilience Management Guideline.











This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 653569.