Opinion Factsheet  

TOWARDS A STRONGER EUROPEAN DISASTER RESPONSE

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Opinion Number: CDR 15/2011
Rapporteur: KARTMANN Norbert
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 11/05/2011
 
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- underlines the importance of local and regional authorities in civil protection matters. These authorities are often at the forefront of efforts to deal with natural and man-made disasters and must therefore, as a matter of urgency, be involved in developments in this area, especially given that in a large number of Member States' legislative powers are organised on a local or regional basis;

- underscores the importance of the EU's commitment to supporting the measures taken by Member States. The damage caused by previous natural and man-made disasters shows there is still some need for improvement in Member States; there is also room for further improvement in transnational and interregional cooperation. It is here that the EU can make a valuable contribution to even more effective and efficient cooperation, above all by improving coordination;

- points out, however, that civil protection is essentially a task for Member States and their regional and local bodies, whose authority should not be infringed upon;

- emphasises that the TFEU states a supporting, coordinating and supplementary role in the area of disaster response. Therefore, the civil protection mechanism monitoring centres (MIC) have a coordinating role, whereas the EU neither has the competences concerning the establishment of own units, nor taking over the leadership of units and other resources provided by Member States. All planning and measures must be adjusted and carried out in accordance with the requirements, enabling Member States to implement the subsidiarity principle;

- adheres to the principles of solidarity, cooperation, coordination and support among the EU's Member States, regions and local authorities in the area of civil protection and agrees with the Commission's view that there is a need for even more consistency and efficiency and a higher profile if the goal of a more integrated EU disaster-response capacity is to be achieved