Information to the Public
A major project in the context of the Civil Protection Action Programme
Updated : April 2001
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:
- The Common Path after 112 (the community level). Lessening the national differences of systems for warning and information to the public could facilitate the free movement of persons in the Union. Our work and projects would contribute to making the EU-cooperation more visible to inhabitants in the Member States. Along this path we might find projects aiming at one, or a few, common signals for warning the public in case of accidents or danger. Projects aiming at finding similar ways of following up the signal with messages using possible channels (i.e. radio, television, the Internet) cf. the above Vision Projects aiming at standardisation of signs, the symbols of warning and information (cf. the evacuation sign or the "i" for tourist information).
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 Path of cooperation & exchange of knowledge (the national level). We cannot expect to find a wizard formula of standardising information to and education of the public in the different areas of the EU. But we can surely find more and better ways to co-operate and learn from each other. Through continuous meetings and contacts via e.g. the Internet, create networks among the different authorities in the Member States in order to exchange knowledge and ideas that can develop into concrete measures, useful at regional and national level; promote convergence of practises, methods a s o. We might find common target groups, among others, children, old people, disabled persons. And we can work together to find the means and methods to reach these target groups with the kind of communication and information that will answer to the needs of the different groups. Scientific research in the field of communication could be a common project for perhaps, two or more of the member states, which share a cultural background, and which have problems in common related to the area of warning and information.
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.
- An information campaign on the single European emergency call number (1-1-2)
for Belgians travelling abroad and for foreign citizens living in Belgium will be
conducted by Belgian authorities in 2001-2002.
More information ...
- A call for proposals was launched in mid-2001 in view of
financing activities related to the information to the public.
More information ...
- Input from the major project on Crisis Management.
|last update: 09/08/2007|
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