Commissioner Georgieva together with the Energy Commissioner Günther Öttinger, the Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki held a meeting with representatives of Gas and Oil Companies and national surveillance authorities. This is the second meeting of that kind and is aimed at obtaining assurances both from industry and national regulatory authorities that everything is being done to avoid disasters similar to the one in the Gulf of Mexico happening in Europe.
The Commission so far has engaged in a series of internal and external actions in order to assess the risk of comparable emergencies in Europe. It is vital to include industry and national authorities in discussions on the on-going work to develop policies on disaster prevention and preparedness. By the end of 2010 Commissioner Georgieva will present proposals on how to strengthen the EU's response to disasters - both man-made or natural- inside and outside the EU and active input from all stakeholders will be essential. Already, ECHO's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) proved its effectiveness during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as in close cooperation with the European Maritime and Safety agency (EMSA) a good flow of information flows was assured and significant in-kind assistance was channelled through the MIC to the US.