The Committee of Permanent Representatives, COREPER II, confirmed today the agreement that had been reached with the European Parliament last week on a review of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism. This is an important agreement, particularly at a time when Europe faces the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which require a rapid and appropriate response from all Member States.
Under the agreement, the European Commission will be able to widen its powers of response in the areas of transport and logistics and respond to emergency situations with the direct acquisition of additional capacities for the rescEU system. The budget outlined for the mechanism for the 2021-2027 period is now triple the amount for the previous period.
The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, which was set up in 2001, centralises the response capacities of all EU Member States to catastrophes, both in Europe and the rest of the world. Already used more than 300 times, the mechanism has helped people around the world in situations of large-scale forest fires, devastating floods, earthquakes, and also in response to the refugee crisis.