13

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EU Humanitarian aid: Lessons identified and the way forward

29-01-2018

The new uncertain geopolitical context has had a far-reaching impact, including on European Union (EU) humanitarian aid. The EU has faced a rising number of terrorist attacks across Europe that has created an atmosphere of fear, while the United Kingdom (UK)'s decision to withdraw from the EU has challenged the European project as we know it. The EU institutions and its Member States, as well as international institutions have been challenged in their response to refugees seeking asylum, and to the ...

The new uncertain geopolitical context has had a far-reaching impact, including on European Union (EU) humanitarian aid. The EU has faced a rising number of terrorist attacks across Europe that has created an atmosphere of fear, while the United Kingdom (UK)'s decision to withdraw from the EU has challenged the European project as we know it. The EU institutions and its Member States, as well as international institutions have been challenged in their response to refugees seeking asylum, and to the humanitarian crises in the Mediterranean. Equally, the election of President Trump has ushered in a new era of United States (US) unilateralism, creating a gap on the global agenda. This briefing aims to provide an assessment of recent developments in the area of EU humanitarian aid and outline elements that would be pertinent to consider in policy-making when reflecting on how to move forward on the post-2020 architecture of the EU external financing instruments, which affect EU humanitarian aid, and the needs surrounding the new EU budget.

Humanitaire hulp

01-01-2018

Humanitaire hulp is een onderdeel van het externe optreden van de EU, waarbij wordt ingespeeld op behoeften die ontstaan bij door de mens veroorzaakte rampen en natuurrampen. Het directoraat-generaal Europese Civiele Bescherming en Humanitaire Hulp (ECHO) van de Commissie financiert hulpacties en coördineert het beleid en de activiteiten van de lidstaten. Het Parlement en de Raad dragen als medewetgevers bij aan de invulling van het EU-beleid inzake humanitaire hulp en nemen deel aan het wereldwijde ...

Humanitaire hulp is een onderdeel van het externe optreden van de EU, waarbij wordt ingespeeld op behoeften die ontstaan bij door de mens veroorzaakte rampen en natuurrampen. Het directoraat-generaal Europese Civiele Bescherming en Humanitaire Hulp (ECHO) van de Commissie financiert hulpacties en coördineert het beleid en de activiteiten van de lidstaten. Het Parlement en de Raad dragen als medewetgevers bij aan de invulling van het EU-beleid inzake humanitaire hulp en nemen deel aan het wereldwijde debat over doeltreffender humanitair optreden.

EU security cooperation with Latin America: A priority requiring consolidation

23-11-2017

Although security cooperation is not yet a well-consolidated priority for the EU in its relations with Latin America, it has acquired increasing importance with the explicit inclusion of citizen security as a new priority area in the 2015 EU-CELAC action plan. The main current areas of EU security-related cooperation with the region are the fight against drugs; violence prevention; conflict resolution in Colombia, with an EU stake in its peace process; and the participation of some Latin American ...

Although security cooperation is not yet a well-consolidated priority for the EU in its relations with Latin America, it has acquired increasing importance with the explicit inclusion of citizen security as a new priority area in the 2015 EU-CELAC action plan. The main current areas of EU security-related cooperation with the region are the fight against drugs; violence prevention; conflict resolution in Colombia, with an EU stake in its peace process; and the participation of some Latin American countries in EU crisis-management operations in the framework of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy. This is achieved through trans-regional, regional, sub-regional and bilateral programmes and projects, as well as through the conclusion of framework agreements with certain Latin American countries. The European Parliament is particularly involved in promoting security cooperation with the region, as evidenced by its support for a Euro-Latin American Charter for Peace and Security, in the framework of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, and the adoption of specific resolutions on the subject.

EU response to the Caribbean hurricanes

20-09-2017

The scenes of devastation caused by recent hurricanes in the Caribbean are a stark reminder of the destructive force of nature. As residents struggle to rebuild their lives following the passage of the latest storms, attention turns to the relief efforts. The EU can help through emergency humanitarian assistance and a variety of funding mechanisms, depending on the status of the territories concerned and their relationship with the EU.

The scenes of devastation caused by recent hurricanes in the Caribbean are a stark reminder of the destructive force of nature. As residents struggle to rebuild their lives following the passage of the latest storms, attention turns to the relief efforts. The EU can help through emergency humanitarian assistance and a variety of funding mechanisms, depending on the status of the territories concerned and their relationship with the EU.

Decisive step for Colombian peace agreement

29-09-2016

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 brings a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides started in Havana four years ago, and they announced a final peace agreement on 24 August, and the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This has thus raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the ...

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 brings a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides started in Havana four years ago, and they announced a final peace agreement on 24 August, and the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This has thus raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the peace process is far from completed: Sunday 2 October 2016 will be a decisive date in the process, when the agreement is submitted to a popular referendum. The most unpopular part of the deal, the transitional justice system, could prove decisive for the outcome. If the agreement is approved by the Colombian people, the third and most difficult phase – the implementation of the agreement – will begin, and this poses numerous uncertainties about the future. International actors have played a major role since the beginning of the process, and will continue to do so during the peace-building phase. In particular, the United Nations and some of its agencies, UNASUR, the Organisation of American States, and the European Union (which has appointed a special envoy), are involved.

The European Year for Development: Humanitarian Aid

17-07-2015

Within EU external relations, humanitarian aid has a distinctive nature: it is based solely on humanitarian principles, responding to needs, rather than political objectives. In the last decade, the global humanitarian situation has deteriorated; more than 100 million people need assistance this year. Despite growing humanitarian funds, the system is overstretched and many needs cannot be met. The World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in in 2016, will be an occasion to reflect on new challenges and ...

Within EU external relations, humanitarian aid has a distinctive nature: it is based solely on humanitarian principles, responding to needs, rather than political objectives. In the last decade, the global humanitarian situation has deteriorated; more than 100 million people need assistance this year. Despite growing humanitarian funds, the system is overstretched and many needs cannot be met. The World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in in 2016, will be an occasion to reflect on new challenges and discuss new funding solutions. The EU and its Member States together constitute the world's leading humanitarian donor. EU aid reaches more than 120 million people, ensures 'forgotten crises' are not completely left behind, and mainstreams disaster prevention and resilience building. The European Parliament is strong supporter of principled humanitarian aid, and has supported setting aside adequate sums. Parliament's report on the WHS will feed into the European debate on how to achieve more effective humanitarian action.

Towards More Effective Global Humanitarian Action: How the EU Can Contribute

15-06-2015

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016 will be the culmination of a global consultation process. The three-year initiative responds to the need to adapt the humanitarian system in order to make humanitarian action more efficient and effective in keeping pace with the rapidly changing context of emergencies. Consultations leading up to the Summit have provided the opportunity to gain perspectives from different regions of the world. As a result, three main priorities have been highlighted ...

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016 will be the culmination of a global consultation process. The three-year initiative responds to the need to adapt the humanitarian system in order to make humanitarian action more efficient and effective in keeping pace with the rapidly changing context of emergencies. Consultations leading up to the Summit have provided the opportunity to gain perspectives from different regions of the world. As a result, three main priorities have been highlighted: the need for humanitarians to protect and preserve the dignity of people affected by conflict and disaster; a call to find innovative and sustainable ways of meeting people's needs; and a demand from the global South to 'localise' humanitarian response by strengthening local, national and regional capacities to prevent, manage and respond to crisis. There is potential for the European Union (EU) to take a leadership role in the process and influence the WHS outcome. ECHO´s new need assessment tools and the Linking Relief Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) as well as Resilience approaches offer a framework for responding to the challenges posed by protracted crises. This study recommends that the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid should be applied as a model for a 'Global Consensus on Humanitarian Action' or a 'Global Compact' recognising the diversity of today's humanitarian response system while taking advantage of all actors' complementary role. Furthermore, the EU and member states must commit to placing protection at the centre of humanitarian action and ensure that the EU´s humanitarian aid is not regarded as a crisis management tool, and allowed to become an instrument of its foreign policy.

Externe auteur

Cristina Churruca Muguruza (Institute of Human Rights, University of Deusto, NOHA Network of Universities in Humanitarian Action, Spain)

How the EU budget is spent: EU Civil Protection Mechanism

21-05-2015

The European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism supports and coordinates the deployment of participating countries' in-kind assistance (teams, experts and equipment) to countries requesting international assistance in the event of a major natural or man-made disaster. It comprises a European Emergency Response Capacity (EERC), made up of pre-prepared 'modules' pooling civil defence capacity made available on a voluntary basis by its members, and an Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), monitoring ...

The European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism supports and coordinates the deployment of participating countries' in-kind assistance (teams, experts and equipment) to countries requesting international assistance in the event of a major natural or man-made disaster. It comprises a European Emergency Response Capacity (EERC), made up of pre-prepared 'modules' pooling civil defence capacity made available on a voluntary basis by its members, and an Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), monitoring disasters and organising the deployment of modules. The EERC responds to requests from both inside the EU and beyond its borders, where assistance can go together with humanitarian aid.

The European Union's response to Ebola

11-09-2014

A number of West African countries are currently experiencing the worst Ebola epidemic in history. As the situation continues to deteriorate rapidly, the European Commission has stepped up its response since March 2014 and is now pledging more than €147 million in response to the devastating human, sanitary, economic and political effects of this crisis for the region. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the European Parliament has shown its concern as regards this critical situation.

A number of West African countries are currently experiencing the worst Ebola epidemic in history. As the situation continues to deteriorate rapidly, the European Commission has stepped up its response since March 2014 and is now pledging more than €147 million in response to the devastating human, sanitary, economic and political effects of this crisis for the region. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the European Parliament has shown its concern as regards this critical situation.

Humanitarian Aid: Crises, Trends, Challenges

26-08-2014

As the humanitarian community prepares for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2016, the backdrop is far from easy. The scale of natural and man-made disasters is daunting, vulnerability and fragility are increasing, funding shortfalls become constant, operating environments grow increasingly problematic, and the humanitarian system itself remains highly complex despite multiple waves of reform. Although humanitarian action has become more effective over ...

As the humanitarian community prepares for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2016, the backdrop is far from easy. The scale of natural and man-made disasters is daunting, vulnerability and fragility are increasing, funding shortfalls become constant, operating environments grow increasingly problematic, and the humanitarian system itself remains highly complex despite multiple waves of reform. Although humanitarian action has become more effective over the years, actors must continue to search for ways to better prevent and prepare for disasters, and to respond in a manner that is more flexible and better adapted to new realities and the needs of afflicted populations while alleviating suffering, maintaining dignity and saving lives - the ultimate objective of humanitarian work. The EU has been a key player in international humanitarian policy. It has substantial clout in shaping future humanitarian action on a wide range of issues. These include principled and needs-based action, enhanced disaster preparedness and management, resilience-building, partnerships with non-traditional actors and emerging donors, innovative approaches and greater effectiveness and accountability, for both EU and international efforts. The European Parliament has several options to participate actively in these discussions and play a formative role in shaping humanitarian outcomes.

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