Ten years after its signature, the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid remains the key document guiding the EU’s and its Member States’ approach to humanitarian aid.
To mark the ten year anniversary of the Consensus, the European Parliament hosted a panel discussion featuring representatives of the signatories and humanitarian organisations. In his keynote speech, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said "The Consensus is a cornerstone of the EU's humanitarian aid. It is our common compass to navigate the rough seas of this challenging world. Our humanitarian work is defined by the values set out in the Consensus. And we will continue in the same spirit. We must ensure that humanitarian principles are applied and respected when delivering humanitarian assistance on the ground. There can be no compromise to this."
The event celebrates the document which has been a point of reference in the EU's humanitarian action, underlines its continued relevance, and highlights the remaining challenges in its implementation.
The Consensus' added value in enabling better delivery of aid has been acknowledged by a wide range of humanitarian organisations including NGOs, the UN agencies and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Signed by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the EU Member States, the European Parliament and the European Commission in December 2007, the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid is the first comprehensive policy setting out the EU’s and the Member States’ approach to humanitarian aid. In 2007, 27 million people were in need of humanitarian aid and 39 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes.
A decade on, humanitarian needs have broadened in scope due to the effects of natural disasters and conflicts; more than 101.2 million are in need of humanitarian aid and 65.6 million are forcibly displaced.