EDF Reformation Project



  • This is a quiet place to work together on an EDF reformation bill. There are only a couple rules:

    • Only Councillors Roebuck and Zapatero may discuss here. All others may observe only.

    • No one else should pick up the draft if they fail to produce a viable bill, at least not again during this Commission term. This provides a strong incentive to succeed, without totally killing the subject being worked on if it fails.

    That's it, so now let's see what happens!

    - Davian Lamington am Aelir
    Commissioner for Internal Affairs



  • Thank you Commissioner, but isn't the EDF reformation project part of the Defense Committee? At least the think thank was. It's not that important for me though, I just want to avoid misunderstandings.



  • He's giving us a space to work on the bill. The Defense Commissioner has laid the groundwork for ideas for this bill now we have to put that into writing. This is a place where compromise will be attempted and mediation will occur so that we can try and come up with something that will have a wide ranging appeal. Nothing wrong with a little inter Commission cooperation right?

    (OOC: Although if Pax has any objections, I guess we won't do this. Anyway We'll start actually working on this whenever you get back Occoron)



  • No objections whatsoever from the Defence Commissioner's office. Thank you, Commissioner Lamington, for organizing these workrooms for the Councillors. I will follow your working with great interest.

    Livia Arcturus
    Commissioner for Defence and Peacekeeping



  • I have indeed no problem with that, Councillor Roebuck. Seen the Commissioner has no objection, I think we can start working now. ((OOC: I'm indeed back.)) You told me you already had a rough draft, Councillor?



  • You are correct Councilor Zapatero. Here is the very rough draft I have right now. Let me know what you think and what you might want to add.

    European Relief Force Act

    Purpose

    This act is designed to create a force under the control of Europe capable of distributing humanitarian aid in nations stricken by natural disaster or devastated by war.

    Article 1: Formation

    The relief force, hereafter referred to as the European Relief Force (ERF), shall consist solely of volunteers from member nations of the European Union.

    Volunteers are to be trained by the defensive branch of the European Union in humanitarian relief work.

    This organization is not a peacekeeping force and shall not be armed.

    Article 2: Deployment

    The European Relief Force can only be deployed into nations post disaster or post conflict at the request of the member nations where operations would be held.

    Such a request shall be sent to the European Council to deliberate over and decide on the course of action that is to be taken. The Council will decide whether or not the ERF shall be deployed and the size of the operation. This includes how much aid and resources are to be used. A vote of 55% will be necessary to pass a resolution in favor of deployment.

    Article 3: Oversight

    The operations of the European Relief Force will be overseen by the Defense Commissioner. The Defense Commissioner will be responsible for coordinating the ERF's activities with the nation operations are being held in, as well as other nations who are willing to help provide logistics for humanitarian aid distribution.

    Article 4: Funding

    The ERF will be funded by the European Budget at its conception but may find other sources of funding.

    Article 5: End of the EDF

    Effective immediately, the EDF is dissolved and the provisions for its existence stricken from the Constitution. The ERF is intended to be the less controversial replacement for the EDF.



  • I agree with giving the Council the highest authority over the ERF, and also with giving the Defence Commissioner the task to coordinate the operation.

    However, I do not think it's wise to send humanitarian workers without any protection in a post-conflict situation. As Councillor Marshall said during the debate, they should at least be able to protect themselves. It's not because the war is over, that there are no militarized groups terrorizing the country. I even think they should be able to protect refugee camps. Of course, it's clear that controlling a whole country is not on the table, as a peace-keeping force has not enough support at the moment.

    I also think there is no compromise possible about humanitarian aid during the conflict, but maybe we should consider allowing it during a truce - which is technically not "post conflict"? As a safety measure, no humanitarian aid worker may have the nationality of one of the countries involved, and all parties involved have to agree with the operation, as well as the Council of course.

    Article five is unnecessary, I think. The The European Defence and Peace-keeping Forces is mentioned in chapter five of the Constitution, and as no law can overrule it, I do not think this act can dissolve the EDF. I'm afraid we will have to amend the constitution.

    And please forgive me my ignorance, but what do you mean by "the defensive branch of the European Union"?



  • I can see the rationale of allowing them some weapons to protect themselves but there are certainly some concerns of potential misuses. I'm very reluctant to open the door to possible peacekeeping missions and as long as the force is armed that is a concern. The force being post-disaster or post-conflict could alleviate some of those fears though. On the other hand, bringing a weaponized force can lead to tensions among the citizens and governments.

    By defensive branch I meant the Commission for Defense.I suppose I can edit that for the bill.

    Would limiting the volunteers to not being from the nation the mission is being run in, apply to post disaster operations?

    True that we may need a separate bill for an Amendment to take out the EDF as written in the Constitution. Would you be supportive of such an initiative? And if so should we prepare that to be released at the same time?



  • Peacekeeping missions are explicitly forbidden by the act, so I wouldn't worry about that. The second concern you raise is indeed a more serious one. However, I do think potential risk can be reduced by giving the volunteers a good training.

    That might indeed be more clear.

    I don't think it's necessary to forbid aid workers helping their home nation after a disaster. However, I can hardly imagine a country would first ask help to the European Union and wait to deploy its own emergency services until the Council has approved the request, instead of just sending the rescue teams where they are necessary. Such a limitation would have an impact on humanitarian workers living abroad: they do have the 'bad' nationality, but can't be directed immediately by their home nation as they aren't there. To summarize: I think such a rule would only be necessary if we talk about relief operations during a truce.

    Well, there is a question that should be answered first: do we want the ERF to be in the constitution, or is a law enough? In the first case, we can change the EDF by the ERF in the constitution, but that will make it harder to pass but also harder to change. In the second one, we can just remove the part about the EDF in the constitution, and make the ERF a law, which will more likely pass but is also easier to change. Which way do you prefer?

    Maybe we should also think about who will be responsible for the training, and where? Are we going to rely on the member states, or should we open a European training center? If we chose the second option, where? And how voluntarily will the volunteers be? Will they be "volunteers" as in: "you are not forced to go up there, but choose to do so. You get paid though.", or will they be "volunteers" as in: "you are not forced to go up there but choose to do so, so you don't get paid" The second option would be cheaper, of course, but might also cause problems to find qualified personnel. The first one will make that problem easier, but who will pay for it? Will it be the nation that requested help, the nations that offer help, or the European budget?



  • Well it's very possible people would want to sign up for an international humanitarian organization instead of a national one. That shouldn't prevent them from being able to work in their home nation.

    I don't think we should try to pass the ERF as part of the constitution because I think it would be harder to get support for that.

    The training will be done by the Defense Commission like the bill says and they will train at a building that can be provided. If it turns out all the buildings of the Defense Commission have no room than the European Budget would have to pick up the bill to start. However in the future there may be possible donations to fund it. I know Commissioner Reed has spoken about creating a European Humanitarian Relief Fund. I have no problem shifting the financial burden to that once it is formed. I'm not sure how I feel about paying the volunteers. They could probably use some compensation but it shouldn't be a lot. These people wouldn't be full time workers. They'd be trained and ready to respond. Disaster doesn't strike every day or even every month.

    Also I will ask a little bit about how your idea for a truce would work? If war was between two nations and they had a ceasefire, I would expect receiving humanitarian relief would be negotiated in the terms. Is this correct? What about in a civil war type conflict? Europe shouldn't be picking sides. So it would make sense to allow it if both sides agree, but otherwise I don't know.



  • I agree with both your first remarks. But regarding the constitution, we would just propose an 'empty' amendment that removes whole chapter five of the constitution, without replacing it. Is that possible?

    I also agree with paying volunteers an honest wage, although it shouldn't be too much. The aid work should be something you do because of your principles, not because of the money you get. And it's indeed true they wouldn't be full time workers, although I think the humanitarian workers should not be trained once, but also regularly get a 'refresher training'.

    If both sides allow it, no matter if it's a war between countries or a civil one, there is no problem: the Council can perfectly send the workers without a very high risk. It's not that easy when there is no agreement between all parties involved. Maybe we should think of just supporting the ones that do agree? Although that will make things a lot more complicated. What borders do you take into account: the ones before the battle, or the ones after? Maybe we should just leave this open to the Council, and let them decide about this case by case?

    Maybe it might be wise to leave the Council the opportunity to offer help, but with limits or conditions. Conditions can be that the governments should do anything to disarm rebels, or to integrate them into a real army. Limits can be in time, or places. Not a whole country gets help, but just a few regions or cities, because other ones are too dangerous?

    Also, the personnel is discussed, but what about the material? Should the EU buy everything -and I'm talking about medicines, food, blankets, tents, but also airplanes, helicopters etc- or should we borrow or rent it from member states?



  • Well I think the EU should accept donations that can be used to help in potential humanitarian causes and be the means to get the materials to the people. I don't think the EU should have some kind of unlimited humanitarian budget. I envision EU funds being used to train the volunteers and set up the infrastructure of the organization and donations would cover the actual food and supplies. I think we have many generous citizens throughout the region. Once again I will bring up the Humanitarian Relief Fund I've heard whispers of from Dr. Reed. If/When that is formed I envision that being used as the main thing providing resources for operations of the ERF.



  • And what do you say about the rest of my remarks?



  • As the draft says, Council will be able to decide the scope and size of the operations. In any conflict both sides would have to agree to aid and aid would have to be equal as to not break neutrality. Only supporting one side means that Europe has become a belligerent in the war and that is not something we should be looking to do. If nations seek to practice interventionism they must pursue it with their own resources.

    As far as the workers are concerned I think they should have a one time extensive training and then maybe take a refresher course every 6 months or so to keep their "license".



  • Alright, I agree with all that. Do you have any other remarks?



  • I don't have anything to add but if you could perhaps write up any revisions we discussed here that would be great. Once that is done and we agree on that we can present this to Council.

    (OOC: I'm going to be away for the weekend)



  • Have you gotten anywhere with that Councilor Zapatero?



  • I'm sorry, I seem to have missed your last comment. I'll try to write a compromise that takes all our remarks into account.



  • European Relief Force Act

    Purpose

    This act is designed to create a force under the control of Europe capable of distributing humanitarian aid in nations stricken by natural disaster or devastated by war.

    Article 1: Formation

    The relief force, hereafter referred to as the European Relief Force (ERF), shall consist solely of volunteers from member nations of the European Union.

    Volunteers are to be trained by the Commission for Defense and Peace-Keeping of the European Union in humanitarian relief work. Training includes one extensive training and a refresher course every six month. Volunteers are paid a reasonable wage.

    This organization is not a peacekeeping force, weapons may only be used as last resort.

    Article 2: Deployment

    The European Relief Force can be deployed into nations post disaster or post conflict at the request of the member nations where operations would be held. The European Relief Force can also deployed during a truce, on condition all parties involved agree.

    Such a request shall be sent to the European Council to deliberate over and decide on the course of action that is to be taken. The Council will decide whether or not the ERF shall be deployed and the size of the operation. This includes how much aid and resources are to be used. A vote of 55% will be necessary to pass a resolution in favor of deployment. The Council can, at any time, propose conditions to the aid, limits the operation in time and/or area and so on.

    Article 3: Oversight

    The operations of the European Relief Force will be overseen by the Defense Commissioner. The Defense Commissioner will be responsible for coordinating the ERF's activities with the nation operations are being held in, as well as other nations who are willing to help provide logistics for humanitarian aid distribution.

    Article 4: Funding

    The ERF will be funded by the European Budget at its conception but may find other sources of funding.

    =====================================================

    Amendment to the Constitution

    Purpose

    This amendment will end the existence of the European Peace-keeping and Defense Forces, as written in the Constitution, Chapter five: The European Defence and Peace-keeping Forces.

    Article 1

    This amendment removes "Chapter five: The European Defence and Peace-keeping Forces" of the European Constitution, and thus ends the existence of the EDPF as written in that Chapter of the constitution.



  • Good Work Councillor Zapatero. I think these things are ready to be presented to Council. Shall we wait til the end of the Labor Relations Vote?


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to NS European Union was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.