Comprehensiveness basically means to address the range of threats and challenges by the full menu of instruments in order to contribute to overall stability and security. While the EU has only started to move from a consensual top-risk
approach to an all-hazards approach
, it has always advocated the comprehensive approach. The comprehensive approach aims at overarching solutions to problems, with broad effects based on complementarity of actors, while considering all available options and capabilities, as well as the normative end-state of the security of society as a whole, based on a whole-of-community approach
Operationally, the EU’s understanding of a comprehensive approach has centred on bringing together all available instruments to increase the Union’s global role and to manage interdependencies between different sectors (such as coherence of approaches of the Council of the European Union and the Commission; CSDP
and Justice and Home Affairs
[JHA]; harmonized approaches to security and development, security and human rights, etc.) and coordinate actions of all the stakeholders from nations and international organizations in various domains: military, political, institutional, structural, economic, social, etc. taking into account the nexus among them.
Reflecting the cross-border and cross-sector nature of current security threats and challenges as well as the complexity of instruments and objectives in security policy along the internal-external continuum, the comprehensive approach nowadays focuses on the holistic nature and broad trade-offs involving societal goals, in order to increase the security of the EU and its citizenry as a whole. A comprehensive approach addresses all phases of the crisis management cycle. It is not limited to civil-military interaction in crisis management. A comprehensive approach aims to find and implement overarching solutions to problems, with broad effects and based on complementarity of actors, while considering all available options and capabilities, as well as the normative end-state of the security of society as a whole. A comprehensive approach also entails the tackling of cross-cutting issues in home affairs
The EU, like NATO, at first referred to “comprehensive approach” as a concept pertaining to international crisis management (civil-military interaction; harmonized deployment of resources, capabilities, and capacities throughout the crisis management cycle
). Later, it applied the term also to the field of civil security and civil security research
. The figure below illustrates the conceptual map of the comprehensive approach:
Figure: Conceptual map of the comprehensive approach.