Figure 1 : Group photoThe course was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 19 to 22 July 2022, with active participation and excellent outcomes. The aim of the course was to harness shared perspectives and a shared vision of disaster relief as part of the whole disaster management chain, including the development of critical capabilities and situational awareness in relation to tackling emergency situations. The course focused on planning and execution, at strategic, operational and tactical levels, of disaster relief and post-disaster reconstruction, civil protection and humanitarian assistance missions/operations in relation to natural, human-made and climate-driven disasters in the wider CFSP/CSDP context. Field practitioners shared their experience in disaster relief operations, from diplomatic and military perspectives.
Figure 2 : Ms Preslava Lilova’s lecture on the role of NGOs in disaster reliefDuring the first day of the course, trainees learned about the organisation of emergency systems, the importance of international collaboration and CIV-MIL cooperation in emergency situations, the CSDP instruments in support of disaster relief, and the role of strategic communication. On the second day, trainees were briefed on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and the role of the Commission’s DG ECHO, DG DEVCO and the EEAS, as well as on the natural disasters in the context of global security and the role of NGOs in disaster relief. During the third day of the course, trainees had the opportunity to work in syndicates on massive disaster scenarios, discussing key actor and stakeholder engagement, and assessing crisis management capabilities, planning options and courses of action.
Figure 3: Syndicate workThe course concluded with briefings on cooperation and synergies between emergency situations and public order systems for impact management, and on the Euro-Atlantic Centre for Resilience, located in Romania. We would like to thank all the keynote speakers for their excellent contributions and input, and for the very high quality of their speeches and lectures. The content of the presentations and the extremely relevant topics triggered thought-provoking and rewarding discussions between the participants and the experts. We would also like to thank all 26 participants for their confidence in the ESDC, and we will do our utmost to continue providing high-quality training.