The Resilience Committee (RC) is the senior NATO advisory body for resilience and civil preparedness. Each NATO member country needs to be resilient against military and non-military threats and challenges to the Alliance’s security, such as natural disasters, disruption of critical infrastructure, or hybrid or armed attacks. Resilience is both a national responsibility and a collective commitment rooted in Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Reporting directly to the North Atlantic Council, the RC is responsible for the strategic and policy direction, planning guidance, and general coordination of resilience activities at NATO, as set out in the 2021 Strengthened Resilience Commitment, the NATO 2030 agenda and the 2022 Strategic Concept. Established in 2022, it subsumes and continues the functions and roles of the Civil Emergency Planning Committee (CEPC), which was first created in the 1950s.
Main tasks and responsibilities
The Resilience Committee sets the priorities for resilience activities within the Alliance, translating NATO’s level of ambition for national and collective resilience into concrete actions and guidance. It reports directly to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal political decision-making body, and is responsible for maintaining a planning and review cycle for resilience at NATO, including the establishment, assessment, review and monitoring of resilience objectives to guide nationally-developed resilience goals and related implementation plans. The Committee ensures a whole-of-government and whole-of-society perspective across the full range of resilience-related activities undertaken by the Alliance. It also coordinates with NATO military authorities and other NATO committees dealing with the broader resilience agenda, including by providing relevant political-military advice and by facilitating the consideration of resilience aspects in NATO’s defence planning, operations and activities.
The Resilience Committee also oversees the activities of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) at NATO Headquarters, which acts as the focal point for coordinating disaster relief efforts among Allies and partner countries, as well as in countries where NATO is engaged in military operations and missions.
In performing its role, the Committee also contributes to developing relations with partners and other relevant international organisations and institutions.
The work of the Resilience Committee is supported by six specialised Planning Groups composed of subject-matter experts nominated by Allies. Each Group is responsible for providing advice on resilience matters in their respective fields of expertise:
- the Civil Communications Planning Group (CCPG) provides advice on building resilience in the communications sector;
- the Civil Protection Group (CPG) addresses ways to ensure continuity of government as well as the ability to deal effectively with uncontrolled movements of people; and
- the Energy Planning Group (EPG) is responsible for the oversight of resilient energy supplies;
- the Food and Agriculture Planning Group (FAPG) addresses resilience matters in the food and water sector;
- the Joint Health Group (JHG) covers Allies’ ability to deal with mass casualties and disruptive health crises;
- the Transport Group (TG), subdivided across inland surface, maritime and aviation, supports resilient civil transport systems.
Work in practice
Upon delegation by the Secretary General and based on the issues under discussion, the Resilience Committee is chaired by the Assistant Secretary General of the relevant NATO division, or by a senior delegated official. It meets on a weekly basis in Permanent Session, where countries are represented by their national delegations to NATO. Meetings alternate between those of NATO member countries only and those open to partner countries.
The Committee also meets at least once a year in Plenary Session, at the level of the Policy Directors of the national civil emergency planning bodies from NATO and partner countries. Additionally, the Secretary General or the Deputy Secretary General may convene, on an annual basis, a meeting of the senior national officials nominated by Allies to coordinate and account for the implementation of the Alliance’s resilience baseline requirements in their respective countries.