The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has become the 32nd member of the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism. This brings the country into a community of European nations which work together for better prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. The European Commission supports the Mechanism through its Monitoring and Information Centre.
"I am pleased to welcome the latest participant in the Mechanism. The number and complexity of disasters is on the rise everywhere; the current harsh winter reminds us that Europe is no exception to this trend. So there is clear value in coordinating our efforts to protect civilians and to respond better to natural and man-made disasters," said Commissioner for humanitarian aid and civil protection Kristalina Georgieva.
Joining the EU Civil Protection Mechanism connects a country to a Europe-wide disaster management network and gives it access to a pool of resources for dealing with a wide spectrum of disasters. For more than 10 years now, the Mechanism's Participating States have benefitted from the exchange of knowledge, best practices and flows of information when responding to major emergencies in Europe and elsewhere. With coordination from the Commission, they help each other and other countries in disaster response. EU candidate countries can enjoy the benefits of full participation in the Mechanism, even before joining the EU.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia benefitted from this cooperation in 2007, when it requested assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to cope with the outbreak of forest fires.