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SOS CATASTROPHES ACTIVITIES SINCE JANUARY 2015

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SOS Catastrophes – The European Disaster Victims Network’s – proceeds to implement high standards in the entire array of support offered to disaster victims.

Last January the team had a meeting in the Directorate General of Justice” (DG JUST) of the European Commission. We met Katarzyna Janicka-Pawlowska, responsible for the commonly called “victim directive” which establishes minimal standards concerning rights, support and protection for all victims of crime in the European Union. It should be transposed in November of this year the 16th.
We presented the network, how and why we decided to create it, and Mme Janicka-Pawlowska was interested in our projects, especially with the one creating a good practice guidance. She proposed us to meet some of her colleagues in order to present us and our goals.

That is what we did. We met in April two members of the Mobility and Transport Directorate General (DG MOVE), coming from the unit “air safety”. We talked about the regulation 996/2010 and especially about the article 21 “Assistance to the victims of air accidents and their relatives” which compels countries from the European Union to prepare an assistant plan. Very few of them did it for the moment and we tried to understand why and to provide them new lines of thought.

In May we had the opportunity to present our network at the Directorate General of humanitarian aid and civil protection (DG ECHO), we met a member of the European Emergency Response Coordination Center (EERCC) and we also visited this emergency cell. It was a great comparative advantage to discover how the European Union acts in response to disasters and how countries are cooperating in emergency situation, all taking place either in Europe or internationally.

In May we went back to the DG MOVE where we met this time the maritime unit and its director: Christine Berg. After having presented the network, we really underlined the importance to have a european answer for the maritime security, we talked about the care of victims and their compensation. We recognized that the regulation 392/2009 (dealing with the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents) was a first step but we defended the idea to transpose the existing and really well developed air model into the maritime sector. And we finally deplored the lack of dynamism of the OMI compared to OACI which permits to victims to have a real role.

We intend to continue meeting our objectives during the second part of the year 2015.

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