Since our last issue, the Crisis Response Journal team has attended a number of conferences and symposia, including IDER 2006 in Rome, the CTIF Delegates Assembly in Slovenia and the EΦA Informal Roundtable held in Brussels (see pages 66 to 68).
It was excellent to meet so many of our subscribers and this was the perfect opportunity to solicit their thoughts on CRJ and how they would like to see the journal develop. Unsurprisingly the issue of Europe arose, not only in private conversation, but in presentations, speeches and group discussions.
A number of prominent initiatives and projects in civil protection and emergency response have emanated from – or been funded by – the EU, some of which are now so firmly embedded in the fabric of our emergency response ethos that we take them for granted. Yet there is much more which remains unexplored or unknown, as typified by this quote from the Chief of a major European fire department: “A lot of good things are coming out of Europe, but they simply don’t reach the firefighters.”
This could be owing to a bottleneck at national level, with much of the information not being cascaded down from the member states to those on the front line. Bearing this in mind, and in response to our readers’ requests, CRJ is delighted that the Head of the Civil Protectorate Unit at the European Commission will be writing a regular column, starting with this issue (p9). Mr Martin will be outlining past work, as well as describing forthcoming initiatives and aspirations for the future. We hope that this new series will help these important issues to reach the widest audience possible.