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Cooperation in disaster management: Europe and the United States take a major step forward

Georgieva and Craig Fugate showing the administrative agreement between the European Commission and FEMA © EU
17/11/2011  - 

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva met today with W. Craig Fugate, Administrator of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), US Department of Homeland Security. They discussed the priorities for cooperation between Europe and the United States in disaster management and emergency response.

The meeting saw the signature of an administrative agreement between the European Commission and FEMA. With it, the partners commit to fostering cooperation in disaster risk reduction, resilience and response to disasters.

‘The floods in Australia, the storms in the US, the triple disaster in Japan – these recent examples remind us that even the best-prepared and the most developed countries can be seriously affected by major disasters. Meanwhile, the economic crisis has squeezed the resources available for disaster management everywhere. In the face of such serious and complex challenges, cooperation in disaster response and risk reduction is more important than ever. This is why the European Commission and FEMA are taking our cooperation to the next level, stepping up our joint efforts to prevent disasters, prepare for the unavoidable ones and respond in a way that is both efficient for our citizens and practical for our budgets,’ said Commissioner Georgieva.

The agreement and the regular dialogue between the European Commission and FEMA are part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to strategic partners such as the US, Japan, Russia and neighbouring countries. This approach aims to share knowledge and exchange best practices and to be able to work together in the event of major disasters.