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Parliament wants a European civil protection force, now!

(BRUSSELS2) 643 votes for, 1 vote against, 33 abstentions… doing more would have been difficult! It was with this almost unanimity that the European Parliament, meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg, adopted a resolution on February 9 calling for the establishment of an EU rapid reaction force for civil protection.

As soon as possible ! The Parliament thus asks the Commission to present proposals aimed at establishing, as soon as possible, a European Union civil protection force based on the European Civil Protection Mechanism and enabling the Union to bring together the necessary resources to provide initial humanitarian aid of emergency within 24 hours of a disaster ». In other words, no more procrastinating under the pretext of hostility or reluctance on the part of one or the other.

Ten conditions
. Parliament has set ten conditions which provide a framework for this European rapid intervention system:

− be of a civilian and/or humanitarian nature,
− be permanent,
− be able to be mobilized at any time and as soon as possible,
− act under the banner of the European Union,
− respect international humanitarian law,
− be open to cooperation with other humanitarian actors,
− be willing to cooperate with the United Nations system,
− be open to contributions from third countries,
− respect the voluntary nature of Member States' participation in the system to be put in place,
− be mindful of the permanent upgrading of both human and material capacities that can be mobilized at any time,
− be based on the principle of “burden sharing”.

Please be a little more active Lady! This is, in summary, what is said quite diplomatically to the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs. MEPs, in fact, “invited” him — as well as the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Response
to crises — to play a leading role in coordinating the European Union's response to crisis situations, making use of the powers established by the Treaty of Lisbon to better coordinate the European Union's response to future crises and based on the progress already made ". If that's not a warning...

Other points to note

A disaster prevention system. MEPs would like the EU to work with the Haitian authorities to “ put in place a long-term disaster prevention and capacity management mechanism ". He also insisted that " reconstruction is carried out according to national priorities, while respecting the principles of aid effectiveness, and providing assistance to Haitian institutions to enable them to operate effectively.”

“You have to invest in the long term”, Parliament insists, “by the construction of anti-seismic buildings and basic infrastructure such as water supply, the road network or electricity, which were lacking or were not sufficient before the earthquake, which considerably multiplies the impact of natural disasters. Parliament has asked the European Commission to " present an overall assessment of the needs following the disaster as well as a monitoring report on the progress of reconstruction ».

A moratorium on adoptions
. MEPs call on the EU to support the establishment of a temporary moratorium on new adoptions of children from Haiti, for a period of two years after the launch of research actions. Unaccompanied children separated from their families should benefit from services allowing them to reunite with their parents, underline MEPs, who also call on the international community to develop a coordinated plan for the care of the thousands of children made orphans by THE

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).