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Christian Neudel, Schwaikheim

Ioan Mircea Pas¸cu MEP confirmed in his speech the importance of the CATO-project

Photo: Rob Munro

should not have the effect of watering down the common efforts at EU level.

- The presentations by Dr. Victor Remez from Ness TSG, Israel, gave a good overview of the project architecture, which was completed by Dr Mike Griffin’s explanations on the status and functioning of the CATO Lab. The project’s advanced status gives every reason to expect a positive outcome at the end of 2014 that will give added value to the EU Crisis Mechanism. There was a clear and common understanding, supported by the representatives of the EU institutions, that the CATO Lab should have access to the EU’s Emergency Response Centre (ERC) that has been operational since May 2013 within the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO). Experts from Austria, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States gave presentations on specific CBRN protection issues that gave the participants a broader view as well as providing valuable ideas for the CATO consortium. Special aspects of dealing in practice with threats and risks were addressed in a panel moderated by Christian Baumhauer, CEO of ARTTIC, with reference to the experience of other FP 7 projects: Practice, EQuATox and Opsic. pants, who rewarded the professionalism and realism of the workshop leaders with their active cooperation, suggestions and ideas.

Conclusion The two-day conference was a success, it enabled participants both to understand and to contribute to the further development of a promising project which will enhance the EU Crisis Mechanism.

Eight interactive workshops showing the technical status of the different parts of the CATO project and its mode of operation met with a positive response from particiThe CATO-Coordinator Victor Remez, Ph.D. Technical Director, Ness Technologies, Tel Aviv, opening the Conference Photo: Rob Munro

Legacy and innovation Assisting crisis-management forces

by Christian Neudel, Head of Public Relations, Kärcher Futurtech, Schwaikheim

Kärcher Futuretech GmbH, an internationally renowned protection and supply systems specialist based in Schwaikheim, near Stuttgart, was spun off to become an independent subsidiary of Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG in 2005. Futurtech is currently active in the business areas of CBRN Protection Systems, Water Supply Systems, Mobile Catering Systems, Field Camp Systems and Services.

Innovative state-of-the-art systems The systems are designed to support and safeguard the lives of all actors involved in disaster situations, accidents and development aid, police and military operations, in order to ensure their fitness for rescue actions, their stamina and their survival. With its highly mobile customised state-of-the-art solutions, Futuretech rates itself among the highest performers worldwide in the areas of peacekeeping and disaster relief

Christian Neudel has been a member of the staff of the Press and Public Relations Office of Kärcher Futuretech GmbH since March 2012. He was born in 1984 and holds an MA in Advanced Management and International Brand and Sales Management, as well as a BA in Information Management and Corporate Communications from the University of Applied Sciences in Neu-Ulm. He has also studied abroad, in Spain and New Zealand. Before taking up his current post, he was the sales representative for the Caravan Saloon in Düsseldorf. Photo: © Kärcher

operations. Its innovative state-of-the-art systems and complete product range make Futuretech the world market leader in “professional systems for peacekeepers“.

TEP 90 – state-of-the-art in decontamination

Photo: © Kärcher

Experience Water: During the ISAF missions in Afghanistan, Futuretech’s customers produced over 100 million bottles of purified drinking water directly where it was needed. They use water purification systems consisting of several WTC 6000 and WTC 1600 to provide safe and clean drinking water. This purified water is then directly bottled using a number of Futuretech WBP 700 water bottling plants. The product family has recently been enlarged to include a new system called WBP 1300. It is able to fill up to 1 300 PET bottles per hour with clean drinking water, almost double the output of the previous

model. At the same time, the manpower requirements for this operation have been cut by half, resulting in considerably lower operating costs.

Decontamination: Futuretech also supports the CBRN troops in Afghanistan with its state-of-the-art decontamination system called TEP 90. The TEP 90 is a highly mobile, rapidly deployable decontamination system for mission-optimised, thorough CBRN decontamination close to contaminated mission forces. Due to high-tech decontamination technologies and agents, it meets all the relevant technical requirements of a high-performance decontamination system and is the only system worldwide able to cater for such a vast range of decontamination scenarios.

Kärcher Futurtech: The company has an annual turnover of approx. €43 million and more than 120 employees working in the central office in Schwaikheim in the areas of development, sales, marketing, administration and maintenance. The Management Board consists of Thomas Popp and Volker Welzenbach. The production and repair of technical appliances and protection systems are carried out mainly in the Futuretech factory in Obersontheim. In addition to producing for customers in the Federal Republic of Germany, the company exports primarily to Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Luxemburg, Great Britain, the United States, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Senegal and Singapore.

News: Council conclusions on the regional impact of the Syria crisis

On 18 November 2013, EU Foreign Affairs Ministers adopted Conclusions on the regional impact of the Syria crisis. The Council reiterates its grave concern for the humanitarian, social, economic, political and security impact of the Syrian crisis on the entire region, especially Lebanon and Jordan.

Conclusions (Excerpts) “(…) 2. The EU is gravely concerned with the fact that 9.3 million Syrians within Syria are in dire need of external assistance. In particular, it reiterates its concern for the fate of 6.5 million of internally displaced Syrians and of more than 2 million refugees in neighbouring countries, all in need of external assistance. The EU is gravely concerned about the impact of the upcoming winter on the most vulnerable and the polio outbreak inside Syria and urges for timely vaccinations, which require that all parties to the conflict grant full access to health teams participating in the polio immunization campaign throughout the country.

3. The EU commends the authorities and population of, most notably, Lebanon and Jordan as well as Turkey and Iraq for their support and extraordinary generosity towards the people fleeing the conflict in Syria, and recalls the importance of them maintaining the open borders policy. The EU recognizes the destabilizing impact this influx of refugees has on the host communities, especially in Lebanon and Jordan. (…)

4. The EU reaffirms its commitment as the largest donor in the context of the Syrian crisis to support governments, host communities and beneficiaries in countries with most refugees. It welcomes plans for a pledging conference in the beginning of 2014 (“Kuwait II”). The EU will do its utmost to further increase its commitment and calls on international partners to increase humanitarian and economic support to those most affected in Syria and the neighbouring countries. For their part, EU Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting in Brussels, 18 November 2013

Source: The Council of the European Union

all donor countries should in accordance with the principles of burden sharing ensure the fulfilment of pledges already made.

5. The EU commends those countries that keep their borders open in order to provide a safe haven and protection for people fleeing the violence in Syria, including Palestinians. In recognition of the immense burden placed upon the neighbouring countries, the EU underlines the importance of supporting local host communities through social and economic measures to mitigate the impact of refugees, and to help financially the host countries to respond to the growing humanitarian needs of refugees. All parties should facilitate the delivery of aid based on humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality.

6. The EU also recalls the need for increased humanitarian, development and macro financial assistance in the short and medium term across the region under a comprehensive response strategy to be based on a comprehensive joint analysis of needs from the UN and international financial institutions. (…)

7. The EU reiterates its grave concern about the restricted humanitarian access in Syria, which is also contributing to the outflow of Syrians, many of whom are also facing worsening food shortages, to the neighbouring countries. Therefore, the EU calls on all parties, and particularly the Syrian government, to immediately implement in full the UN Security Council’s presidential statement of the 2nd of October in order to ensure the expansion of humanitarian relief operations, to lift bureaucratic impediments and other obstacles and to facilitate safe, unhindered and immediate humanitarian access to populations in need of assistance in the entirety of the Syrian territory, including across conflict lines and across borders from neighbouring countries. The EU calls on all sides of the conflict to allow for local ceasefires to facilitate humanitarian work and to respect all obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. All those violating these obligations must be held accountable. (…)

9. The EU underlines that the deteriorating spill-over effects of the Syrian conflict in the region make it all the more urgent to put an end to all violence in Syria and find a political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. The EU reiterates the importance of quickly convening the Geneva II Conference to this end. Recalling the October 2013 Council conclusions on Syria, the EU welcomes the recent positive stance of the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SOC) towards participation in the Conference as an encouraging step. (…)”