European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management

The Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection is a member of the European Commission. The post is currently held by Christos Stylianides.

The portfolio deals with the distribution of aid; the European Commission is the largest supplier of humanitarian aid in the world, accounting for more than 50 percent of aid distributed in 140 countries.[1] The Commissioner oversees a total of 140 international humanitarian experts as well as 44 field offices in 39 countries, which are manned by 320 local staff members.[2] The Civil Protection mechanism of the Commission means that the position also covers the European Union's disaster response. It provides support if a member state requests aid after a natural disaster. This function has adopted a wider scope in recent years as the Commission increasingly becomes an instrument of support around the world.[3] For example, the Commission provided aid to Morocco when the country was hit by an earthquake in February 2004. More than 1,000 aid workers were also dispatched to the United States after 11 September 2001 terrorist attack.

Although humanitarian aid and civil protection falls within the same Commission and administered by the same Commissioner, each has separate strategy document.[4] In recent years, however, there is a focus on increased complementarity and synergy between the humanitarian aid approaches and civil protection expertise and assets.[5]

Louis Michel as commissioner

After the Israeli-Lebanese conflict in 2006 the Commissioner visited Lebanon and called for €30 million to repair the damage there. The Parliament's development committee was cautious though about the expenditure and he was also criticised for his slow response with one MEP comparing him to "a fireman who arrives at the scene after the fire has gone out". In the same debate MEPs attacked the Commissioner for "appearing partial in the Congolese elections" in describing Joseph Kabila as "the hope of Congo". Michel responded by saying he would have said the same about any candidate in the democratic elections.

Louis Michel has caused some mild controversy in 2007 among MEPs when it became known that he is to take leave from his work to compete in Belgian elections. Generally Commissioners are meant to remain above national politics and the European Parliament's development committee asked the Parliament's legal service to assess if his participation violates the treaties. During his absence (12 May 2007 onwards), Commissioner Rehn will take over his duties.

His head of cabinet is Sabine Weyand, deputy head; Koen Doens and spokesperson; Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio.

European Medical Corp

The European Medical Corp (EMC) is an civilian incident response team that was launched on 15 February 2016 by the European Union to provide an emergency response force to deal with outbreaks of epidemic disease anywhere in the world.[6] The EMC was formed after the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa when the WHO was criticized for a slow and insufficient response in the early stages of the Ebola outbreak.[7]

The framework for the European Medical Corps is part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism's new European Emergency Response Capacity (otherwise known as the 'voluntary pool').

The EMC is part of the emergency response capacity of European countries.[8] Teams from nine EU member states—Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden – are available for deployment in an emergency. The EMC consist of medical teams, public health teams, mobile biosafety laboratories, medical evacuation capacities, experts in public health and medical assessment and coordination, and technical and logistics support.[9] Any country in need of assistance can make a request to Emergency Response Coordination Centre, part of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department.[10]

The first deployment of the EMC was announced by the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection on 12 May 2016, a response to the outbreak of yellow fever in Angola in 2016.[11] An earlier concept of an emergency medical response team was Task Force Scorpio formed by the United Nations during the first Gulf War.

List of commissioners

Name Country Period Commission
1 Robert Lemaignen  France 1958–1962 Hallstein Commission
2 Henri Rochereau  France 1962–1970 Hallstein Commission, Rey Commission
3 Jean-François Deniau  France 1967–1973 Rey Commission, Malfatti Commission, Mansholt Commission
4 Claude Cheysson  France 1973–1981 Ortoli Commission, Jenkins Commission, Thorn Commission
5 Edgard Pisani  France 1981–1985 Thorn Commission
6 Lorenzo Natali  Italy 1985–1989 Delors Commission I
7 Manuel Marin  Spain 1989–1995 Delors Commission II & III
8 João de Deus Pinheiro  Portugal 1995–1999 Santer Commission
9 Poul Nielson  Denmark 1999–2004 Prodi Commission
10 Joe Borg  Malta 2004 Prodi Commission
11 Louis Michel  Belgium 2004–2009 Barroso Commission I
12 Karel De Gucht  Belgium 2009–2010 Barroso Commission I
13 Kristalina Georgieva  Bulgaria 2010–2014 Barroso Commission II
14 Christos Stylianides  Cyprus 2014–2019 Juncker Commission
15 Janez Lenarčič  Slovenia 2019-present Von der Leyen Commssion


  1. Larsen, Finn (2016). Historical Dictionary of the European Union. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 119. ISBN 9781442255142.
  2. Laursen, p. 119.
  3. Boin, Arjen; Ekengren, Magnus; Rhinard, Mark (2013). The European Union as Crisis Manager: Patterns and Prospects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 73. ISBN 9781107035799.
  4. DARA (2011). The Humanitarian Response Index 2011: Addressing the Gender Challenge. Madrid: DARA. p. 104. ISBN 9788461576265.
  5. DARA, p. 104.
  6. "European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – EU launches new European Medical Corps to respond faster to emergencies". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  7. Moon, Suerie; et al. (28 November 2015). "Will Ebola change the game? Ten essential reforms before the next pandemic. The report of the Harvard-LSHTM Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola" (PDF). The Lancet. 386 (10009): 2204–2221. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00946-0. PMID 26615326. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  8. "European Emergency Response Capacity – Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – European Commission". Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  9. "European Medical Corps part of the European Emergency Response Capacity" (PDF). Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  10. "Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) – Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – European Commission". Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  11. "EU sends new medical corps team to Angola yellow fever outbreak". Retrieved 13 May 2016.

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.