Why is this important?
When a disaster strikes, every minute counts for saving lives. Immediate, coordinated and pre-planned response is essential. The EU is committed to providing disaster response in a timely and efficient manner and to ensure European assistance meets the real needs in the population affected, whether in Europe or beyond.
What are we doing?
The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), operating within the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), was set up to support a coordinated and quicker response to disasters both inside and outside Europe using resources from the countries participating in the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. The ERCC replaces and upgrades the functions of the previous Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC).
With a capacity to deal with several simultaneous emergencies in different time zones, around-the-clock, the ERCC is a coordination hub facilitating a coherent European response during emergencies helping to cut unnecessary and expensive duplication of efforts.
It collects and analyses real-time information on disasters, monitors hazards, prepares plans for the deployment of experts, teams and equipment, and works with Member States to map available assets and coordinate the EU's disaster response efforts by matching offers of assistance to the needs of the disaster-stricken country. Better planning and the preparation of a set of typical disaster scenarios will further enhance the ERCC's capacity for rapid response.
The ERCC also supports a wide range of prevention and preparedness activities, from awareness-raising to field exercises simulating emergency response.