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European Law Monitor NewsHumanitarian aid consensus needs to be clearer and more specific

The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report outlining the EP's position on the "European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid", aimed at rationalising the efforts and the distribution of aid between the European Commission and the Member States. The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid is likely to be signed by the three institutions in plenary on 18 December 2007.

The report insists that the Consensus needs "to be clearer and more specific in order to enhance European humanitarian policy" and also to ensure that the EU's potential as a humanitarian donor is fully exploited". The EU, i.e. the European Commission and the Member States, collectively, is the world's leading humanitarian aid donor. In 2006 the EU contributed over €2 billion, which is over 40% of official international humanitarian assistance.
The House reaffirms that EU civil protection and military assets and capabilities must be deployed in a way which complements and supports the work of humanitarian organisations. it should be limited to those cases or areas where they can provide real added value.
The report stresses the need to clarify the relations between activities supported by the Commission via the Stability instrument for crisis prevention, management and resolution (such as disarmament, demobilisation, mine clearing, reintegration of displaced populations/refugees, etc.), and the concomitant activities carried out by DG ECHO, the Commission's humanitarian aid office.
Thierry CORNILLET (ALDE, FR), who is the European Parliament's standing rapporteur on Humanitarian Aid, presented his initial proposals to the Informal gathering of Development and Cooperation Ministers in Funchal (Madeira) from 20 to 22 September, in the run-up to the 8-9 December EU-Africa Summit.

Further information:

The European Union and Humanitarian Aid
Text, as adopted by the EP on 14 November, will shortly be available here
European Commission - Towards an EU consensus on humanitarian aid