On December 6, 2018, at the University of Warsaw, Citizens’ Dialogue was held with Androulla Kaminara, Director, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), European Commission. The Dialogue was an integral part of the two-day international conference “Legal Architecture of Humanitarian Action” organized by NOHA Warsaw together with the University of Warsaw and with the support of the European Commission Representation in Poland.
Mrs. Kaminara presented data on the scope of assistance provided by the European Union as well as its directions and principles. She stressed that Union’s actions are perceived positively and enjoy continued support from both the states and the citizens of the EU. She also referred to the problem of the perception of migration in European Union member states, the size of which is greatly overestimated by public opinion. She also stressed that the EU is trying to allocate part of the funds to the so-called “forgotten crises”, including the conflict in Ukraine. She also presented some specific examples of the Union’s commitment, discussing the cases of Afghanistan, Colombia, and Chad. Assisting Mrs. Kaminara was Prof. Joost Herman, President of Network on Humanitarian Action, who actively engaged the audience, including representatives of science, non-governmental and governmental organizations and the media.
The participants of the dialogue were particularly interested in the way of identifying the crisis as a “forgotten crisis”, stressing that from the point of view of Poland, the crisis in Ukraine is still a crisis requiring special attention. In addition, it was discussed how the EU decides which crisis is covered by the Union’s assistance and how the EU coordinates its actions with other organizations. Critical remarks were also expressed concerning the scale of the Union’s engagement in Afghanistan.