European Humanitarian Relief Fund Proposal
My Fellow Europeans,
I would like to announce via the Economics office here in Europolis that we have opened up a pool of money for Europeans who are suffering from disasters of a natural or human-caused nature. Individuals, companies, Europeans, all who are able can donate any sum of money to the fund that will go as gifts towards humanitarian companies or governments who request certain amounts. The Economics office will consult with the rest of the committee to decide whether or not the person(s) or government(s) requesting monies will be able to receive this money.
I would like to survey the opinion of Europeans, including those in my committee, about the idea of starting this fund.
I thin this should remain an open pot advocated by the council and commission and overseen by Dr Reed. Anyone can donate to it and I would encourage that nations set up a national branch of the fund so members of the public can contribute to it through banks. Obviously it should be granted charity status in all nations.
Councillor Chantalise Blasko-Blatsko
I find this idea one that is very good although there will be some potential problems that could arise that we would have to protect against.
If this fund was made up of not just money but goods that could be given to those the Fund deems in need due to disaster then we must tread carefully. Firstly, the people charged with overseeing the fund would have to be careful not to break neutrality in conflict. If aid was delivered from the Fund to soldiers in active war zones that would make the EU a combatant. The other problem with the fund would be there is no way to transfer goods to citizens affected by disaster in hostile areas without relying on benevolent combatants.
My other major concern would be just the overall management of the fund. The people in charge would have to make sure not to over allocate resources to certain places. You don't want all of the fund being spent on the first disaster to strike in Europe. It wouldn't be fair to the donors or the nations of Europe and so we must be intelligent and efficient when it comes to allocation.
Both of my concerns can be addressed by having competent and unbiased (or as unbiased as we can get) management of the fund. A proposal that addresses these concerns would have my support. Suggestions for doing this would be maybe having some kind of small council or committee that would be in charge of overseeing the fund and then have the Economics Commissioner have final say on the usage of the fund in order to police unrealistic allocation of the resources of the fund.
We'd like to hear a wider range of views on this subject. Any Councilor can chime in here. Please tell us what you think about this proposal and share any ideas you might have.
Well, on behalf of Pax Aurea, I can offer my support for this proposal.
I find it important that such a fund exists in the first place. As it would be an institution of the European Union, it would enjoy a greater level of neutrality and objectivity than a single sovereign nation when entering a conflict as a humanitarian agent. Aggression against this relief organization would be equivalent to aggression against any other branch of the Union, Commission and Council included.
Although I'm quite pleased how smoothly things have proceeded between the member nations of this "Humanitarian Coalition" involved in the relief work in Dromund Kaas, it goes without saying that a European relief agency would be of tremendous help when it comes to coordinating the operations, establishing logistics chains for supplies and finances, and soforth. The less time we use in management, the quicker we may respond to a sudden crisis.
I agree with Councillor Roebuck. A council or board or similar body consisting of professional and skilled representatives around the Union would be a best way to guarantee the apolitical nature of the organization and the responsible handling and distribution of the funds. I'd also propose that the accounting and auditions of the funds should be made as transparent as possible. The European citizens should have no trouble seeing where exactly their donations are going.
Councillor of Pax Aurea
I totally agree with my colleagues here.
Transparency is very important, and I agree with Councillor Artcurus: people deserve to know what and who they are financing.
I also agree that we should keep this Fund apolitical, as that's the best way to make sure people get things based on what they need and not based on political games.
I can confirm that the members of the 'Humanitarian Coalition' are working fruitfully. Such an agency would indeed be an amazing help, which will have without doubt a positive influence. The more efficiency, the more people we can help.
Thus, the Democratic Republic of Occoron will support this proposal.
Councillor of the Democratic Republic of Occoron
_Kryuland will express its opinion through a new elected councillor that should be appointed today or tomorrow _
Rhine Ruhr is ready to give once the Relief Fund goes live.
Due to the growing concerns, voiced mostly by the Duxburian Union and Pax Aurea, about resources available for aid to DK refugees, I find it prudent that we revisit Dr. Reed's wonderful idea of a European Humanitarian Relief Fund.
The fund would allow governments, charity organizations and people to donate money or goods. These resources would be put towards helping those affected by disaster in Europe. Participation in the fund is entirely optional.
The old attempt at formation of this fund failed because we couldn't come to a solid consensus on a few key points.
How would the fund be managed? By the Council? By the Economics Commissioner? A combination? Something else entirely?
Where will these resources be allowed to be allocated? Would there be restrictions on Warzones such as DK? Or would "liberated" areas of conflict be allowed to receive this funding?
Do we need this to actually be in the form of legislation or can/should we set this up as a treaty?
Should the fund be used to help the ERF operate as hinted at in the ERF legislation?
I'm looking for all Councillors to provide input on this so we can see where to go with this idea.
The Duxburian Union believes that
. The fund would be best managed by a Council-selected group of qualified professionals with ties to non-profit, humanitarian/charity organizations and not to governments or the Council itself. The Economics Commissioner should oversee, but not directly run, the fund.
. There should be limits to what types of goods could be donated. Aka, batteries are fine and guns are not.
. Anyone should be able to donate money.
. Disasters should have thresholds for how many resources could be allocated to them, based on the severity of the events and how many people are impacted.
. Active warzones should be ineligible, but liberated, stable territory is fine.
. Due to its optional nature, the fund could be created as a treaty.
. As the ERF is currently funded from the EU Budget, we think the entities should remain separate unless the Council desires otherwise. 3rd party NGOs would be using the humanitarian fund as opposed to the EU-run ERF.
Speaker of the European Council
Councillor of the Duxburian Union
Disaster relief should not be tied up in bureaucratic red tape, so I would be less inclined to have the European relief fund be controlled by committee.
It is Pax Aurea's opinion that
- A committee of selected individuals -- be they qualified Councillors or non-politician professionals -- would generally be the best way to administer the fund. As the Duxburian Union proposed, the Economic Commissioner could oversee it.
- The materiel should indeed be regulated to humanitarian supplies. Weapons do not qualify as such.
- Donating should be possible for everyone -- private persons, NGOs, companies, governments.
- The fund should be able to provide assistance for territories deemed adequately safe in warring nations, with the approval of the relevant party/parties.
- The ERF and this fund should be kept separate, but they could and should cooperate openly whenever possible to achieve the best and most efficient result.
A question though -- should the Council have ultimate authority over this fund? Can the Council prevent it from becoming involved in an operation, or issue a demand to participate in one?
The Os Corelian government is in agreement with most points, we must maintain donations to be voluntary and able to be made on a case by case status by anyone who wishes. We again will stress that we will heavily object to our Union contributions being used to financially take sides in conflict without our consent.
We feel that the economics commissioner is best placed to take the helm and appoint assistance in the manner he/she wishes.
In the case of a disaster, a quick response is needed. Perhaps this Fund could rapidly distribute funds to local NGOs, and if further funding is needed a group could vote on increasing the amount of relief given. We must also keep in mind that The Humanitarian Relief Fund (EHRF) and the European Relief Force (ERF) are two separate entities at the present.
Our nation agrees with the general goal of the EHRF and its optional nature.
I will suggest a new type of structure that is a combination of the suggested governance so far giving a role to the Econ Commissioner and a Board/Council. Because we agree with the Rhinian stance that aid must be distributed quickly for some disasters. we believe the Economics Commissioner should preside over the fund and have the ability to distribute aid on request for natural or non war related disasters up to a certain monetary value without having to seek approval. If aid exceeds that monetary value then the Board/Council will have to approve the excess value. Also the Economics Commissioner would not have the power to unilaterally distribute aid to a liberated area or post war zone. That power would lie with the Board/Council.
While the ERF and EHRF are separate entities, we believe that they should cooperate heavily. There is no reason that the ERF can't be used to deliver aid collected by the EHRF. This will in turn reduce part of the budget obligations to the ERF because the EHRF will be a source of aid. When the ERF was written, this type of cooperation was expected if/when an EHRF was created.
I think this should be legislation even though participation is optional. We must realize that this is not a law that only affects the ways nations operate. This would be a fund that can be donated to by private citizens, NGOs or governments; as such it is not fair to set it up as a treaty. We also must recognize that without setting the fund up through European legislation, our Commission and our Council would have no mandate for playing a part in managing the fund.
Dr. William Roebuck
Rhine Ruhr supports the suggestions made by Dr. Roebuck.
The Absolutist Monarchy of Red Croatia shall continue to spectate until the
"Official" details have been released before making any comments on suggestions made by Dr. Roebuck.
The government of Os Corelia believes these terms reasonable
Pax Aurea has found the proposal of Dr Roebuck agreeable.
After listening carefully to Dr Roebucks plans and to the suggestions made by other councillors, I find these plans most acceptable.