CIVIL PROTECTION: COMMISSION LOOKING TO CORRECT WEAKNESSES IN EU MECHANISM.
- The transport of national civil protection assistance should remain the primary responsibility of each country providing assistance through the mechanism;
- Where possible, the member states should attempt to share their transport resources in a collective effort to maximise assistance and to ensure its rapid delivery;
- Community financing should be used as a safety net when national transport is not available, insufficient or not able to deliver effectively. This will allow the Commission to mobilise additional means of transport.
Improving rapid response capabilities.
Community civil protection assistance interventions are implemented through teams, experts and equipment made available by the member states on a voluntary basis. These elements have, however, proved insufficient to develop a European rapid reaction capability and have demonstrated capability shortfalls in several areas in which mutual assistance is likely to be required, in particular when similar risks affect various countries simultaneously.
In this context, the Commission proposes improving databases by including information on the availability of military means. It calls upon member states to work towards the development of civil protection modules (specific, predefined arrangements of member states' civil protection resources). These modules should be fully interoperable, rapidly deployable and developed by one member state or by different member states working together, which would create additional opportunities for cooperation, in particular for smaller
countries. The Commission proposes that support functions (communications, light vehicle fleet on site, supplies, technical workshop facilities, etc.) should be met by dedicated units serving all member states' intervention teams. Finally, it proposes enabling the Community to complement member states' assistance with additional support and means (hiring of specific equipment such as medevac aircraft, for example).
In order to improve the existing European early warning system, the Commission recommends greater use of external information sources such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) and the UNDAC warning system (United Nations team charged with disaster assessment and coordination). It also recommends the evaluation and modernisation of existing early warning systems and improving links between detection systems and warning mechanisms.
In addition, the Commission has launched a daily bulletin called "MIC Daily" on its Internet website monitoring emerging and ongoing natural and manmade disasters around the globe. It aims to inform decision-makers and crises centres in Europe and abroad to maximise efficiency.
Coordination in third countries.
In the context of European contributions to international rescue operations, the Commission proposes improving coordination at the EU level by clarifying the chain of responsibility (EU Presidency, Commission, civil protection coordination teams on the ground, member states).
The Commission proposes to recast Council Decision 2001/792/EC establishing a Community mechanism to facilitate reinforce cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions: it clarifies certain provisions and complements the mechanism through new proposals. The new Decision will replace the 2001 text. The Council is invited to adopted unanimously following consultation of the European Parliament.
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|Date:||Jan 28, 2006|
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