Changes Under Way in EU Crisis Response Structure, Functions

European aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. Photo by: European Commission

Structural and functional changes are reportedly in the pipeline for several European Commission offices that are connected to the European Union’s crisis response capacities.

European aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is considering renaming one of the offices under her charge, the Monitoring and Information Center, to the Commission Center for Crisis Response. MIC is responsible for coordinating aid efforts of EU member states. As the Commission Center for Crisis Response, it is expected to coordinate with a remolded EU intelligence office in handling the bloc’s aid operations, EUobserver reports.

Georgieva is also drafting proposals for the the creation of a single EU rapid reaction force for natural disasters. She is expected to present these proposals by late September or early October, EUobserver says, adding that the project is backed by the center-right French members of the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, the European Union intelligence office, SitCen, will be part of the European External Action Service starting Dec. 1, 2010, EUobserver shares. A number of structural changes are expected to result from the office’s incorporation into EEAS, which is headed by EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton.

“SitCen’s information security branch is to be merged with its European Commission counterpart and split off to become a separate EEAS department,” EUobserver explains. “Ms Asthon’s intelligence hub will also use more images from EU government-owned satellites, namely France’s Helios and Pleiades systems, Germany’s SAR-Lupe and Italy’s Cosmo-SkyMed, on top of existing data from US-owned commercial satellites.”

SitCen’s integration into the new external action service will also influence the delegation of tasks between EEAS and Georgieva’s office.

EUobserver shares: “The EU’s recent handling of the Pakistan floods indicates that Ms Ashton and SitCen will concentrate on human-made conflicts and the political dimension of natural disasters. Aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is meanwhile staking out her turf on the humanitarian relief side of natural catastrophes.”

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.