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Argument: The Lisbon Treaty creates a legal basis for EU humanitarian aid

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Supporting quotations

"Treaty of Lisbon. Questions and Answers". Europea.eu - Will the Treaty mean anything for Africa or countries needing development or humanitarian aid?

The Treaty of Lisbon introduces for the first time a specific legal basis for humanitarian aid. This provision stresses the specificity of the policy and the application of the principles of international humanitarian law, in particular impartiality and non-discrimination.

The Treaty of Lisbon clearly states that the reduction and the eradication of poverty is the primary objective of the Union’s development cooperation policy. This goal must be respected when the Union implements policies likely to affect developing countries. This implies also that development policy is a policy in its own right, and not an accessory of common foreign and security policy.

In case of urgent financial aid, the Council will act by qualified majority upon a proposal from the Commission. This should mean quicker financial aid in the future.

The Treaty of Lisbon will classify development cooperation and humanitarian aid as “shared parallel competences”: this means that the Union conducts an autonomous policy, which neither prevents the Member States from exercising their competences nor makes the Union’s policy merely “complementary” to those of the Member States.

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