Caritas Europa has released “Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice – The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and Humanitarian Principles”, a report on the European Consensus on humanitarian aid and humanitarian principles and calls on the EU to maintain the principles in the core of humanitarian actions.
Harald Happel, Humanitarian Officer at Caritas Europa, presented the Caritas Europa report during the DG ECHO Conference 2011. Mr. Happel used his speech to lay out the main concerns of the Caritas organisations in Europe regarding the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and the current trend of stepping away from the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. These four principles compose the backbone of humanitarian aid.
Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice highlights this trend and shed the light on the recurrent lack of coherence with the European Consensus among the Institutions of the EU and among the different ministries in the member states that are involved in humanitarian aid and disaster response.
In this sense, the report gives a series of recommendations, such as “to maintain the specific mandate of ECHO and to ensure a clear division of labour between the First Vice President of the Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. ”
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