Annual conference on ‘European and Regional Approaches to International Disaster Law’. Presentations by key teaching staff prof. Casolari and Dr. Tommaso Natoli and by senior representatives of the IFRC Regional Offices. Workshop in the framework of the Summer Course on International Disastr Law organized by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the IFRC (20 June 2019), 35 participants

The third annual Conference managed by the IEUDL Module has been organised as part of the training programme of the International Disaster Law Course (6th edition) held at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law from 17 to 21 June 2019, in cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Disaster Law Project, and with the support of the Italian Red Cross.

The event was designed in order to provide an in-depth evaluation and critical review of the most recent significant development of the EU disaster law system, putting them in context with other relevant regional approaches to disaster law as to highlight the forerunner role of the EU in this area.

In particular it was possible to highlight and critically assess recent developments occurred in EU law, as Decision 2019/420 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2019, amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism and the Decision on medical personnel in disaster management activities: with these new instruments, the EU intended to strengthen all components of its disaster risk management through the establishment of a new European reserve of capacities (the ‘rescEU reserve’) that initially includes firefighting planes and helicopters. Through such a “strengthened” Mechanism, the EU is setting the basis to be better prepared and efficiently respond to emergencies in the future. Such topics were thus complemented with other regional approaches also with the involvement of senior officers of the Disaster Law Programme, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The audience included representatives of international organisations (e.g. UN World Food Programme); representatives of NGOs and civil society involved in relief activities and humanitarian aid as well as volunteers activities in this area (e.g. IFRC and Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies); representatives of national authorities and members of the armed forces; scholars and researchers with an interest on disaster law. The active participation of this extremely rich and highly qualified public was highly encouraged by the panellists, as demonstrated by the Q&A session and the afternoon exercise on a case-study, thus providing an occasion for extremely pertinent a critical evaluations on the main achievements of the EU-CPM, as well as for sharing other stakeholders’ perspectives and experience. Most interestingly, thanks to the fact that the attendees came from all over the word, the discussion also concerned the EU Civil Protection Mechanism role and involvement in some of the most devastating disasters and complex emergencies outside the EU, including the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (2014) and, recently, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2018), as well as with regard to the earthquake in Nepal (2015).

The conference flyer can be downloaded here.