This issue brings news of two initiatives with which Crisis Response Journal is delighted to be involved.
The first of these is a high-level conference on 'Improving Civil Protection in Europe', organised by Wilton Park, an agency of the British Foreign Office (see page 4).
This will assemble the key players from across Europe and the world who are responsible for policy, planning and response to natural, man-made and terrorist emergencies. The event will involve informal discussions and information sharing based on previous incidents, as well as horizon scanning to conceive of and confront possible future threats.
The concept and scope of the conference are unparalleled in that policy planners and operational chiefs will be encouraged to share their respective concerns and visions frankly, in a discreet environment. It will also be an extremely useful opportunity for the different agencies involved in emergency planning and response to interact on an international level.
The second initiative is more of a tactical challenge. On page 39 authors Dr Lagadec and Professor Carli call for Rapid Reflection Forces to complement Rapid Response Forces. They say that when an emergency situation is unexpected and unthinkable, pre-planned policies and tactics need to be reconsidered, often radically. Constant strategic questions need to be asked; responses and plans need to be challenged throughout such an incident.
Together with CRJ, they are organising a half-day simulation and training session - in real time and involving participants from across the world - designed both to test and develop strategic thinking in unconventional emergency situations.