Engaging with the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU

The month of July marked the start of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU. It is the beginning of the new presidency trio composed of Spain, Belgium and Hungary.

The three countries have laid out their priorities for humanitarian aid in their joint work programme for COHAFA, the Council’s working group on Humanitarian aid and food aid.

Five areas have been given specific attention:

  1. Protection
  2. Promotion and respect for international humanitarian law
  3. Protracted and forgotten crises
  4. Humanitarian funding gap and prioritisation of humanitarian response plans
  5. Localisation

On top of these priorities, quality funding and humanitarian diplomacy will be the overarching goals of the trio together with the enhancement of the cooperation between humanitarian, development, peace and climate actors to better prevent, prepare for and respond to the needs driven by natural disasters.

Spain will hold the presidency until December 2023 and has just released the COHAFA Work programme that will guide its presidency. The areas identified by the Spanish presidency are:

  1. Triple Nexus: the challenges of effectively incorporating the peace pillar
  2. Gender perspective in humanitarian action
  3. Protection of civilians and humanitarian diplomacy
  4. Climate change, environmental considerations, disaster preparedness, and anticipatory action
  5. Financing gap

VOICE has already established a strong working relationship with the Spanish Presidency together with our Spanish members.  We welcomed the presence of the Humanitarian Director of the AECID, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, Ms. Cristina Gutiérrez Hernández, at our June event “Fighting hunger: a women-led response” as a keynote speaker. We will continue to engage with them to ensure that VOICE network’s priorities are put forward at the Council level.