As part of the Republic of Slovenia’s CEDC presidency in 2020, an online conference on Civil-Military Cooperation in Case of Natural and Other Man-Made Disasters was held on 9 December 2020. The conference was co-organised by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Slovenia’s Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, bringing together participants from 12 countries.
Organisational aspects relating to support of Armed Forces to civilian authorities in case of natural and other man-made disasters are regulated differently in each individual country. Sharing insights on organisational approaches can have an important added value for conduct of these activities, especially in crises circumstances.
During the event, experts in the field explored the following topics: organisational structure of disaster relief, including the Armed Forces and civilian authorities; legal framework regulating civil-military cooperation in cases of natural and other man-made disasters; responsibilities and tasks of all authorities involved in disaster relief; way forward, with particular emphasis on potential changes originating in the COVID-19 pandemic; case study of the Armed Forces involvement in a natural disaster scenario.
In conclusion, the experts agreed that the changing security environment will demand an increased and ever more complex support of the Armed Forces to civilian authorities. Exchanging practices and views among international partners, both in the normative and practical fields, can offer a stimulating basis for the way ahead.