EU civil protection mechanism: for better prevention, preparation and response to disasters. Elisabetta Gardini MEP
The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the European Parliament today approved a report on the 'Union Civil Protection Mechanism for the period 2014-2020'.
According to the Rapporteur, Elisabetta Gardini MEP, "This report aims to create a European Civil Protection Mechanism that will support Members States in preparing for and combatting natural and man-made disasters of all kinds, within and outside the Union. In this time of changing climates and urbanization we see that these types of disasters are happening - and will happen more often - with a greater disastrous effect. For this reason we need to be ready to face emergencies at a European level with real European coordination".
The objective of the European Civil Protection Mechanism is to provide for an integrated approach to disaster management. There are new features to the legislation that would make Europe, as a whole, more resilient when facing environmental phenomena such as floods, earthquakes, eruptions, tsunamis. One of these features is a voluntary pool of assets that Member States contribute to for each other's use in emergency situations. Furthermore, the legislation aims to help map risks across Europe that could help us prepare for and respond to disasters more efficiently.
"Moreover," underlined the Rapporteur, "by promoting measures to prevent disasters, a new EU Civil Protection policy would reduce the costs to the EU economy from disasters and therefore remove obstacles to growth, contributing to Europe's 2020 objectives".
The proposal provides indicators to measure progress made and will work on three main axes: to achieve a high level of protection against disasters by preventing or reducing their effects and by fostering a culture of prevention; to enhance the Union's state of preparedness to respond to disasters; and to facilitate rapid and efficient emergency response interventions in the event of major disasters.
"It is high time for the European Union to play an important role in increasing the security of EU citizens and helping Member States to coordinate action to save as many lives as possible," concluded Elisabetta Gardini MEP.
Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.