The Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) and the representatives of the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement for strengthening the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The new rules will mean the European Union and its Members States will be better prepared for emergencies and able to respond to them more rapidly.
© Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock
The meeting was chaired by the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Patrícia Gaspar.
© Ministry for Home Affairs
The new rules will allow the European Commission to bridge gaps in the transport and logistics area and, in urgent cases, acquire additional resources directly from RescEU, a reserve funded by the EU budget.
Prevention and preparation will also be reinforced as the European Commission, in conjunction with the Member States, will be defining and developing disaster resilience goals in the area of civil protection, through recommendations based on current and possible future scenarios, including the impact of climate change on the risk of disasters.
The document provides for a total of EUR 1.263 billion for the 2021-2027 period, in accordance with the political guidelines issued by the European Council on 21 July 2020, and will include a sum of up to EUR 2.056 billion for the implementation of measures in the civil protection area in order to deal with the impact of COVID-19, as set out in Next Generation EU (EU recovery instrument).
These figures represent a tripling of the budget for 2014-2020, thus reflecting the reinforcement of the EU's collective response to disasters, particularly through the recently created reserve of capacities (RescEU), the European Civil Protection Pool and the strengthening of the prevention and preparation areas.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is an essential instrument of solidarity in the European Union, but the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the challenges we are facing to new heights, with so many Member States needing help at the same time. The new rules will also make it possible for us to respond more effectively to any emergencies that may arise in Europe and its Member States in the future.
Learn more about this agreement on the website of the Council of the EU.