Featured Kristalina Georgieva at ECHO 20th anniversary

Published on October 2nd, 2012 | by EJC

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Seminar On EU’s Humanitarian Aid And Civil Protection Policy

20 years ago the European Commission created the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) “as an expression of the European solidarity with people in need all around the world.” Since then it has provided humanitarian assistance to millions of people affected by conflicts and disasters in over 140 countries. ECHO now has over 400 staff working in field offices in 38 countries, in addition to 300 staff at its Brussels headquarters.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its creation and the EU Development Days, the European Journalism Centre and ECHO are hosting are a tailor-made seminar for 12 journalists aged under 35, to bring attention to the department’s work and create an opportunity for interviews and networking with humanitarian aid and field experts.

The program begins on October 16 when, following a brief introduction and informal lunch, participants will attend the launch and presentation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ”World Disaster Report 2012 – Forced Migration and Displacement” by Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Later that day the attendees are invited to a panel discussion “The Syrian Crisis: How ECHO is Helping” with Antoine Gérard, Head of the Liaison Office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and senior European Commission staff and journalists. Attendees will then have the possibility to interview ECHO HQ staff and field experts before attending Commissioner Georgieva’s special address to mark the 20th anniversary of ECHO.

The following day the group will attend a session entitled “Voices from the Ground: Reporting from Disaster Zones”, which comprises presentations and discussion with Regional Information Officers based throughout the world. This is followed by a press briefing for Brussels-based EU accredited press.

After lunch the group will watch a presentation about the EU Volunteer Corps, a new initiative launched by ECHO in September 2012. This will be followed by a presentation on the EU Monitoring and Information Centre and a visit to the Crisis Room.

Finally, the participants will attend a networking dinner with EU experts and Brussels-based journalists including Melita Šunjić from the UNHCR, associate editor at European Voice Peter O’Donnell and former journalist Mihela Zupančič, now working at the European Commission.


This seminar is open to journalists aged under 35 from EU member states and working for EU-based media outlets. Participants are expected to arrive in the morning of 16 October and will depart on 18 October. The organisers will cover flights, accommodation and meals during the program.

Interested journalists can apply online or send an email to Lisa Bushart at bushart@ejc.net.
Participants are encouraged to cover the event and may be able to publish their work on EmergencyJournalism.net

Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

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