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A crisis management "clean room" for the EU?

(BRUSSELS2)(Opinion) The European Union does not lack resources (financial, human) or structures. But it could do a little more in terms of mobilization in the face of various planetary emergencies. The European Commissioner responsible for Crisis Response, K. Georgieva, recently recognized this (1). The effort is not immeasurable and would not require new means or extraordinary funding. Today, the EU has a range of appreciable financial instruments (humanitarian aid, stability instrument, etc.) and a series of trained and available personnel. On the humanitarian side, ECHO; on the civil protection side, the MIC; on the intelligence services side, SitCen; on the Civil and Military Staff side, respectively the CPCC, the General Staff. Without forgetting the future European Air Fleet Command, EATC in Eindhoven. It would therefore be enough to “not much” to have a certain effectiveness, and visibility, for a relatively modest cost.

On the usefulness of a “clean room”

In this sense, the creation of what we could call a crisis “clean room” seems beneficial to me. This “clean room”, in periods of low intensity, would ensure light coordination, bringing together the main managers of these different services every day, to take stock of the different crises, in the same room, the same place. During periods of medium or high intensity, the “clean room” lights up. It equips itself, increases in power and is “armed” by the “leading crisis unit” in the area: the “reds” if it is a dominant civil security group; “khakis” if it is predominantly military; the “blues” if a notion of police or terrorism is involved, etc… Without forgetting specialized administrators whose emergency response is not automatically the primary function but whose technical expertise can be useful. Example, for the fires in Russia, nuclear specialists could have been useful (at least to clarify the risk). In the event of an oil spill, DG Transport staff will be on the front line. Etc. This is the advantage of the European Commission and the High Representative system in being able to bring together all the necessary skills.

Why is this important?

This “clean room” would make it possible to regularly cross-reference information from different operational managers. And to learn to work together, and not jointly (like today… at best). Each cell would thus maintain its autonomy. We would not thus enter into dark struggles over stewardship and administrative territory of which Europe has the secret and, which sometimes, explain many semantic shifts and inaction. But not only that… This would also make it possible to have a place of reference for the public (filmable by the media), which can be shown in the event of a hard blow. In short, this “visibility” that in each crisis, European political leaders deplore the absence.

(1) Read: The EU needs a stronger crisis response system

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(photo credit: RheoMix)

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).

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