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Information to the Public
A major project in the context of the Civil Protection Action Programme

Updated : April 2001


Objectives

This is the second phase of the Major project on the Information to the Public conducted in 1998-99. The vision is of a European Union where, when facing an emergency or disaster situation, we can get hold of adequate information, when we need it, and even in our own language in order to protect ourselves more effectively. When we travel, work or study in a Member State, we should be able to understand information given i.e. signals, signs and other ways of warning and information. If in danger, whether it is an earthquake, a flood or an avalanche, we should understand what authorities and the people of the country want to tell us –in order to be able to take care of ourselves and those dependent on us.

There are differences in the geography, risks and culture in the Member States –but there are also similarities. And we can learn a lot from the existing, good examples in the EU, and, in cooperation, we can find ways of using existing and new methods and technology to move towards a safer Europe. For example, the digital techniques for broadcasting, already in existence, in both radio and television, will make it possible to use these media as well as the internet for warning and information in new and interesting ways.

On top of this there will be technology that we do not know of, developed during the next decade and this might also be tested and perhaps come of use in the field of warning and information.

Goal: A safer EU for its inhabitants when in travel within the Union

As we see it, there are two parallel paths to follow trying to achieve the goal:

Some more concrete goals for the next few years: By using the results of the inventories of earlier workshops and the ones to be held in the spring of year 2000 we can develop means to make our different warning signs and signals recognisable to people who travel and work outside their own countries. This could be in "information banks" where travellers and the travel industry could find information and useful knowledge before the journey. And it could include information on all kinds of different risks –from dangerous currents for windsurfing, to the signs warning for avalanches at ski resorts). In this context, perhaps we could also discuss the idea of a "Annual European Safety Award" to be given to somebody who has contributed to the safety of a target-group, a country or, for that matter, for all the Member States.

The new project should encompass both paths – sometimes they could be combined, and above all, the results emanating from both paths could interact, and thus give back more than the work put in to achieve the goals we set up.

The project is co-ordinated by Sweden assisted by a core group comprising Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Finland and France.

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