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Kristalina Georgieva: “We have to strengthen the European response to crises”

The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Kristalina Georgieva was on a formal visit to France on 21 April 2010 to meet ministers Bernard Kouchner (Foreign Affairs) and Alain Joyandet (Cooperation and Francophony). Objectives: to get French support for the Commission proposal for more effective, coherent and visible action.

The Paris-based web portal on European topics, media partner to Europe Gateway in Bulgaria, took the opportunity to ask Ms. Kristalina Georgieva to give its readers an overview of European action in Haiti.

"We must concentrate in particular on the total coordination of rapid response between Member States and the Commission. In difficult circumstances, this coordination has been relatively effective" - Kristalina Georgieva says. However, in her words, the visibility of our actions has not been as successful. We can do better and we must make efforts to prepare for the most effective civil response, or even military response, possible.

Further on, Kristalina Georgieva declares - "On the specific question of the European Civil Protection Force, I will be in a position to answer this question in a few months. We have launched a process with Member States emphasising the lessons learned during the last crisis."

Answering a question of, she points out that the EC is in the process of evaluating what the needs and options are, as well as how we can get the best possible results.

"We want the European response to disasters to be efficient, coherent and visible. This means better coordination and better deployment of EU capacities. Whether or not we need a special European force will depend on in-depth analysis of the needs and capacities of the Member States that can be organised and deployed" - Georgieva concludes.

On's website, you can read the whole interview with the Bulgarian Commissioner in French; in English and in German language.

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