Since adopting a “comprehensive approach” to crisis management in 2013, the EU has spent considerable time and energy on streamlining its approach. Recently, we have also seen a terminological shift from “comprehensive” to “integrated”, indicating an expansion of the approach beyond the development–security nexus to encompass the commitment to the synergistic use of all tools available at all stages of the conflict cycle. It also recognises the need to overcome the EU’s own legal, institutional and budgetary internal/external dichotomies that have troubled a truly joined-up approach in the past. But has this change improved the Union’s capacity to act? Drawing on institutional theory, this article analyses whether the EU has the administrative capacities needed in order to be an effective actor in this area.
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