Skip to content
Duty of care


Duty of Care of the EU and its Member States Towards Their Personnel Deployed


In this article, the author examines the current interpretation of the "duty of care" and the obligation to protect life in the international legal system. He defines the precise obligations of the EU and its Member States at this regard, points out what has been done so far to implement them, and highlights the potential consequences of violating these obligations.

There are two legal bases for this development: the evolving concept of "duty of care" whose content and scope has become more precise thanks to the significant contribution of international tribunals, and the more general duty incumbent on State and International Organisations to adopt an active policy to protect life. The practical implications of these two rules are discussed in this article and require the European Union Institutions and its Member States to be extremely careful in planning international operations and in dealing
with their staff and personnel sent on mission.

As most of the problems associated with the notion of the "duty of care" are similar both for the EU and its Member States, and as they are intrinsically connected and sometimes difficult to address separately, investigation will take into account both situations, highlighting where appropriate potential differences in the legal regime regulating the obligations of the EU and those of the Member States. The continuous (and inevitable?) cross-fertilisation between the "duty of care" of States and of International Organizations
makes the decision to focus research on both situations almost inevitable