Presidency reaches agreement on better preparedness and response to disasters

09 October 2013, Last updated at, 13:57 EEST
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author: Reuters/Scanpix

The EU member states have agreed in the Coreper in Brussels on October 9 on the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, laying ground to better safety of the population. The aim of this legislation is to improve the effectiveness of systems preventing, preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters of all kinds within and outside the Union, better predictability and quality of assistance, and increased cost-efficiency.

“This is the result of excellent negotiating work by the Presidency team which will improve the safety and security of the European Union citizens. It is also a piece of legislation connected with the EU multi-annual budget and we hope that this agreement will encourage talks on other legislative acts,” said chair of the Coreper ambassador Raimundas Karoblis.
The current Civil Protection Financial Instrument will expire by the end of this year. The new legislation will guarantee funding for the Union Civil Protection Mechanism for the period of 7 years beginning with 2014, ensuring that the ongoing initiatives in the field of civil protection will continue.
Following the agreement in the Coreper, Council is looking forward to a favourable vote in the European Parliament plenary session.
The Union Civil Protection Mechanism will improve the understanding of the risks and methods of efficiently addressing them. This will include improving risk assessment and risk management planning, describing the prevention policy and relating it with preparedness and response actions, improving planning of disaster response operations and increasing the rapidity and effectiveness of deployment as well as ensuring coherence in both political and operational coordination and making EU actions more visible.
These measures will include the creation of the European Emergency Response Capacity in the form of a voluntary pool of pre-committed response assets from Member States, identification and addressing response capacity gaps, further developing response capacities (experts, modules and other response capacities), improvement of the knowledge base, reinforcement and transformation of the current Monitoring and Information Centre into 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre and cost-effective and well-coordinated transportation of assistance to disaster-stricken countries.


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