EU Council conclusions on the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps

3088th ECONOMIC and FINANCIAL AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing
Brus­sels, 17 May 2011

The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:
“1. The Coun­cil recalls the spe­cif­ic legal basis in the Treaty1 for estab­lish­ing a frame­work for joint con­tri­bu­tions from young Euro­peans to the human­i­tar­i­an aid oper­a­tions of the Union, and the Euro­pean Con­sen­sus on Human­i­tar­i­an Aid as a basic pol­i­cy frame­work.

2. The Coun­cil reaf­firms the key role of the EU in pro­mot­ing vol­un­teer­ing as a con­crete expres­sion of Euro­pean sol­i­dar­i­ty with peo­ple affect­ed by crises.

3. The Coun­cil recog­nis­es the impor­tance of increas­ing the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of human­i­tar­i­an aid actors and the need to address their safe­ty and secu­ri­ty, in par­tic­u­lar in com­plex emergencies.

4. The Coun­cil empha­sis­es the need to set clear require­ments for the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, selec­tion, train­ing and deploy­ment of volunteers.

5. The Coun­cil acknowl­edges the need to sup­port local capac­i­ties in dis­as­ter pre­ven­tion, pre­pared­ness, human­i­tar­i­an response and post-dis­as­ter settings.

6. In this con­text, the Coun­cil wel­comes the Com­mis­sion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion enti­tled “How to express EU citizen’s sol­i­dar­i­ty through vol­un­teer­ing: First reflec­tions on a Euro­pean Vol­un­tary Human­i­tar­i­an Aid Corps (EVHAC)” and its step-by-step approach to the estab­lish­ment of EVHAC.

7. The Coun­cil under­lines that EVHAC should not encroach upon the Commission’s exist­ing human­i­tar­i­an aid and civ­il pro­tec­tion bud­get and that it should be set-up based on a thor­ough cost-ben­e­fit analysis. 

8. The Coun­cil under­lines that EVHAC should be cost-effec­tive, should build upon exist­ing nation­al and inter­na­tion­al vol­un­tary schemes with­out dupli­cat­ing them, and as part of a glob­al approach, should be focused at address­ing con­crete needs and gaps in the human­i­tar­i­an field.

9. The Coun­cil under­lines that EVHAC can make a use­ful con­tri­bu­tion to the Euro­pean and inter­na­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance by focus­ing its activ­i­ties on sup­port­ing exist­ing local human­i­tar­i­an and civ­il pro­tec­tion organ­i­sa­tions, in coop­er­a­tion with recip­i­ent author­i­ties. The EVHAC should not be set up as an oper­a­tional human­i­tar­i­an or civ­il pro­tec­tion organ­i­sa­tion in its own right.

10. The Coun­cil empha­sis­es the need for EVHAC to pro­vide added val­ue to the EU human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and its ben­e­fi­cia­ries, espe­cial­ly in pre- and post-cri­sis con­texts, as well as to increase aware­ness rais­ing and vis­i­bil­i­ty of EU assistance.

11. These Con­clu­sions, along­side the results of the prepara­to­ry action, the Impact Assess­ment, and the on-going con­sul­ta­tions, should guide the Com­mis­sion in the assess­ment of the dif­fer­ent options with regard to the frame­work and man­age­ment struc­ture of EVHAC.

12. The Coun­cil calls on the Mem­ber States, the Com­mis­sion and oth­er rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers, includ­ing inter­na­tion­al and civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions, to con­tin­ue reg­u­lar and sys­tem­at­ic con­sul­ta­tions with a view to estab­lish­ing the Euro­pean Vol­un­tary Human­i­tar­i­an Aid Corps.” 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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