On 8 February, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have reached an important political agreement to strengthen the EU Civil Protection system and the EU’s response to disasters. Following an initiative by the Commission of June 2020, the reinforcement of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, including rescEU will give the EU a more active and flexible role in supporting Member States during emergencies.
In particular, the European Commission will be able to procure, for the first time directly at EU level, to provide additional support if needed. Additionally, as part of the Next Generation EU package, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism will receive a significant budgetary boost for the upcoming years. This will strengthen the EU’s overall preparedness on the continent.
On this occasion, Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “When a crisis strikes, and no doubt there will be more, the EU needs to offer an effective response. This legislation is taking an important step to increase our European common level of preparedness and response flexibility towards disasters. I am grateful to the European Parliament, in particular to the rapporteur Nikos Androulakis (MEP) and Portuguese State Secretary Gaspar for their leadership. With the upgraded Union Civil Protection Mechanism Europe will become more resilient, with more capacities in place, to face future common challenges”.
As a next step, the European Parliament and the Council have to formally adopt the agreement to enable its entry into force.