Opinion Factsheet  

UNION CIVIL PROTECTION MECHANISM

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Opinion Number: CDR 740/2012
Rapporteur: BANASZAK Adam
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 19/07/2012
 
welcomes the transformation from a reactive and ad hoc approach to a more integrated, effective and improved mechanism;
points out that local and regional authorities are usually key participants in the management of crisis situations and thus it would be appropriate to involve them in preparing risk assessment and risk management plans;
believes that the EU should work with national authorities on increasing the number of staff training courses at local and regional level to ensure an effective response to crisis situations;
firmly believes that the EU should establish a platform which could be used to exchange information and experiences on dealing with disasters between Member States and their local and regional authorities;
emphasises the need for greater precision in the definitions set out in the decision and regarding requests for help in reacting to actual and imminent major disasters;
feels that A standard model should be used as a basis for risk management plans to ensure the comparability of their content;
is persuaded that a schedule must be established for Member States to regularly update and submit risk management plans.
On December 10, the Parliament adopted its final position and the Council adopted the decision a week later.

Unfortunately, the CoR-EP view on the establishment and management of the European Emergency Response Centre has not been taken on board. The final version of article 7 remains unchanged from the Commission's original.

Nonetheless, the co-legislators recognise in the importance of subnational government in the point 7 of the preamble: "The role of regional and local authorities in disaster management is of great importance. Regional and local authorities thus need to be appropriately involved in the activities carried out under this Decision in accordance with Member States' national structures."

Likewise, the Decision supports the CoR assessment that "it would be appropriate for Member States to involve local and regional authorities in preparing risk assessment and risk management plans ". Article 6(b) enables the Member States to "develop and refine their disaster risk management planning at national or appropriate sub-national level".

The Council and the Parliament have also acceded to the CoR call for a shared model for risk management plans. The Committee expressed its fear that the lack of commonly shared methodology or structure could limit the comparability of the plans, reducing their utility (point 14 ). The Decision 1313/2013 clearly states in article 5(f) "the Commission shall (…) develop, together with the Member States and by 22 December 2014, guidelines on the content, methodology and structure of those assessments; and facilitate the sharing of good practices in prevention and preparedness planning, including through voluntary peer reviews".

The CoR opinion brings also forward the question of prevention and advice (point 24 ) which appears to be reflected in article 5.2. of the Decision, announcing that "at the request of a Member State, a third country or the United Nations or its agencies, the Commission may deploy an expert team on site to provide advice on prevention measures".

With regard to the schedule, the Rapporteur strongly argued against the Commission's deadline to set up the plan by 2016 and opted for an earlier date by the end of 2014. The co-legislators settled on 22/12/2015; exactly 1 year after the adoption of the guidelines on the content, methodology and structure of these plans.

The CoR proposed annual reporting mechanism on the plans and the Decision introduces a triennial reporting (art. 6(a)).

Finally, the Decision recognises the regional competence in the matter of civil protection in articles 4(8) and 5.1(h), defining 'risk management capability' and encouraging Member States and regions to exploit various Union funds to support disaster prevention.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- welcomes the transformation from a reactive and ad hoc approach to a more integrated, effective and improved mechanism;

- points out that local and regional authorities are usually key participants in the management of crisis situations and thus it would be appropriate to involve them in preparing risk assessment and risk management plans;

- believes that the EU should work with national authorities on increasing the number of staff training courses at local and regional level to ensure an effective response to crisis situations;

- firmly believes that the EU should establish a platform which could be used to exchange information and experiences on dealing with disasters between Member States and their local and regional authorities;

- emphasises the need for greater precision in the definitions set out in the decision and regarding requests for help in reacting to actual and imminent major disasters;

- feels that A standard model should be used as a basis for risk management plans to ensure the comparability of their content;

- is persuaded that a schedule must be established for Member States to regularly update and submit risk management plans.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

High level working round table

The rapporteur spoke at the high level working round table, organised by Treasure, an European Commission funded project in the field of civil protection, with the WHO, Red Cross EU office and DG ECHO attending the debate. Mr Banaszak presented the work of the CoR in this field, highlighthing the importance of intevention of local and regional level. More in particular, he presented his ideas on how to deal with extreme weather events, involving all levels of governement.

 
22 Apr