Opinion Factsheet  

Review of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

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Opinion Number: CDR 617/2018
Rapporteur: BANASZAK Adam
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 16/05/2018
 
The focus of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism must remain on achieving disaster resilience to mitigate the risk of disasters and minimise the damage that they cause, with the principle of disaster resilience and "building back better" being streamlined into all EU policies and Funds.
CoR proposes stress tests and certification of the response capacities that the Member States make available to the European Civil Protection Pool.
The purpose and task of "rescEU" needs to be pursued in a manner that maintains the core responsibility at Member State level, while facilitating greater interaction among affected Member States and local and regional authorities. For an immediate and effective response, well-qualified and well-equipped local units are crucial.
The rapporteur participated in the European Civil Protection Forum 2018 in Brussels as one of the panelists in the round-table "Scaling up Disaster Prevention: from Local to European Level", and also at the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in Rome, Italy as one of the panelists of the session dedicated to national and local Disaster Risk Reduction strategies.

With regard to the legislative proposal, the CoR opinion fed into the EP's report on the subject, which took on board some of the recommendations of the CoR underlining the important role of LRAs both in disaster prevention and management and when developing risk assessments, the importance of territorial and community-led approach and local community action, drawing attention to the need to provide training to enhance the capacity of communities for self-help as well as agreeing that risk assessments should be developed in consultation with relevant local and regional authorities.

The European Commission, in its follow-up, took note of several suggestions contained in the CoR opinion, e.g. the proposal to create a guiding framework for developing risk management plans and the call for an elaborated disaster preparedness strategy that would cover trainings, exercises, exchange of experts, as well as the proposal to create a new Erasmus civil protection programme.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- underlines that the main focus of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism must remain on achieving disaster resilience so as to mitigate the risk of disasters and minimise the damage that they cause, and that the principle of disaster resilience and "building back better" must be streamlined into all EU policies and Funds;

- underlines that risk assessment and risk management planning provisions need to be drawn up in partnership with local and regional authorities;

- supports stress tests and a process for certification of the response capacities that the Member States make available to the European Civil Protection Pool;

- stresses that the Commission must ensure that the new reserve is aimed at coordinating, supporting and supplementing the action of Member States, rather than giving the EU its own resources or new competences, and that EU-level action must be focused on coordinating and supporting the actions of Member States and their local and regional authorities;

- notes that the Union Mechanism should be properly communicated to regional and local actors;

- stresses that ex-ante conditionalities based on risk assessment and risk management planning alone will not help achieve disaster resilience. Disaster resilience must be set as a criterion in the rules governing the use of Funds;

- underlines that to ensure compliance with subsidiarity, the purpose and task of "rescEU" needs to be pursued in a manner that maintains the core responsibility at Member State level, while at the same time facilitating greater interaction among affected Member States and local and regional authorities. For an immediate and effective response, well-qualified and well-equipped local units are crucial, as is the role played by community-level voluntary groups;

- calls for EU action to focus on providing technical training assistance so that the capacity of communities for self-help can be enhanced, leaving them better prepared to provide an initial response and to contain a disaster.