The European Commission has helped mobilise emergency support for Italy through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, following a request for assistance to battle forest fires in the country.
In an immediate response, Croatia has offered 2 specialised Canadair planes that have been operating in the affected areas in northern Italy since yesterday. The EU’s Copernicus satellite system has also been activated to provide mapping services for the local civil protection authorities.
“The EU is here to help. Firefighting aircraft and our EU satellite mapping system are supporting the national civil protection authorities. I want to thank Croatia for its swift response to Italy's request. Our thoughts are with all the people and the brave first responders working in the affected areas. This week I had the pleasure of meeting the head of the Italian Civil Protection department Mr Borelli and our cooperation with Italy is excellent," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre operates around-the-clock and is closely monitoring the situation in Italy and other natural disasters across Europe, including the flooding in northern and central Europe over recent days.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has now been activated 17 times since this summer by several countries across Europe for forest fires.
The European Commission coordinates offers of assistance through the Mechanism and offers to co-finance related transport costs to countries offering support. President Juncker has tasked Commissioner Stylianides to put forward proposals this year to boost the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism, following the many devastating natural disasters across Europe this past year.