|EU mulls "natural disaster" force|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 28 August 2007 05:52|
The European Commission is considering whether to set up a rapid reaction force that will be capable of responding to natural disasters and other emergencies. Greece has declared a national state of emergency as wildfires continue to ravage much of the country. Nations from around the world have offered their assistance in tackling wildfires, which have so far been responsible for the deaths of around 63 people. The European Union has mobilized its biggest ever relief effort for another member state, but as extreme weather conditions become more commonplace, with Britain's costliest natural disaster also occurring this year, the EU is considering establishing a permanent force that will be capable of dealing with such problems.
Quote: "The commission is currently co-ordinating relief efforts through its monitoring centre in Belgium. But it is now looking at setting up a permanent civil protection force to respond to natural disasters, and possibly also terrorist attacks and industrial accidents. "The costs of not doing enough in a co-ordinated way far outweigh the costs of doing it... in a co-ordinated, better way," says commission environment spokesperson, Barbara Helfferich. "We are in a position to do so and we should do it," she says.
Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, already presides over the civilian crisis-management machinery of the EU. According to Recommendation 666, drafted by Solana himself, he has the power to convene the Council of the European Union in the event of a national emergency.
Quote: "12) Support proposals for the WEU Secretary-General and CFSP High Representative to preside over the PSC (Political and Security Committee) and civilian crisis-management machinery and give him powers to convene the Council of the European Union in the event of an emergency;
I didn't hear much from Solana on this latest crisis. In fact I didn't hear much from Europe during the torrential flooding in this country. It may be as well that the EU does set up such a force, for the Bible states that during the tribulation period, the kingdom of the Antichrist will be singled out for special judgement from God.