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An EU cell to coordinate logistical aid to Haiti

(BRUSSELS2) The EU could set up a small unit to coordinate heavy logistical aid provided to Haiti by the military and civil security forces of member states. Clearing road and maritime access routes is undoubtedly a less publicized type of aid than the search for survivors in rubble, or field hospitals, or even the security, but it responds to a real need today in Haiti to allow access to all villages, facilitate humanitarian aid and prepare for reconstruction.

Alain Leroy, head of the DKPO (UN peacekeeping department), had sent Brussels a request focused on several points, including humanitarian support, heavy helicopters, and engineers and engineers to open the roads, and maritime logistics capable of reopening all the facilities of the port. The 27 Ministers of Foreign Affairs could thus decide, on Monday, the establishment of this coordination cell in Brussels. We can recall that two ships are already on site, under the national flag with this task: a Dutch one, the Hs Ms Pelikaan, and a Frenchman, the Batral Francis Garnier. The objective is, again as for security, to give the European Union a little more coordination and visibility for its efforts.

This cell would be “light”: a few people at most, based in Brussels – the presence on site of coordinators is being studied, specifies a diplomat – a bit on the model of the “EuNavco” cell (1) – which had preceded the establishment of operation Eunavfor Atalanta – and was responsible for coordinating European efforts in the fight against pirates.

We thus see the emergence of a new type of European action, located between the military operation or the heavy civilian mission, and the existing institutions, the coordination cell; comprising military, civil protection, and civilian elements… It also illustrates the flaw in the European “armour”. Today, there is no civil-military command center at European level capable of coordinating one-off emergency aid to respond to a natural or technological disaster, a risk for the security of European citizens. the foreigner. In my opinion, it is just as necessary as a permanent military HQ... I will come back to that!

(1) Read:The mandate of EU Navco Somalia, anti-piracy coordination. Details

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).