Environment Committee MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

canadair

Over one million hectares of forest have been destroyed by fires in the EU last year©AP Images/European Union-EP

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament

Upgrades to the EU civil defence mechanism, which was tested to its limits by deadly forest fires, storms and floods in 2017, were approved in committee on Thursday.

The aim is to help member states to respond faster and more effectively to natural and man-made disasters, by sharing civil protection assets more efficiently. The draft law would set up a “RescEU” reserve of assets such as forest fire-fighting planes, high-capacity pumps,  field hospitals and emergency medical teams, to use in all kinds of emergencies.

“RescEU” would be able to buy or lease its own equipment, in addition to that lent by member states.  It would provide relief when they cannot, t but must not be used to replace their own capacities and responsibilities, MEPs say.

“The current system has shown its limitations. We saw this last summer, during the emergency of the forest fires that hit several countries at the same time, with a dramatic outcome in terms of loss of life. Natural disasters have also intensified as a result of climate change. And it is essential to give a response at European level, and time to act!” said lead MEP Elisabetta Gardini (EPP, IT).

“The mechanism will not replace those existing at national and regional level, but will complement their work to ensure more security for European citizens, especially in the case of disasters of particular magnitude” she added.

MEPs also propose setting  up the equivalent of an Erasmus programme to promote cooperation among civil protection personnel.

The Environment Committee approved the text by 48 votes to 8, with5 abstentions.

Next steps

The draft law will be put to a vote by the full House at the 28-31 May plenary session in Strasbourg.

Background

Over 200 people were killed by natural disasters in Europe in 2017. Recent tropical cyclones have severely affected the EU’s outermost regions and the overseas territories in the Caribbean. Above all, 2017 saw a disastrous series of forest fires. Over one million hectares of forest were destroyed, almost three times the five-year EU average, half of which was in Portugal alone.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

Survivors of ISIL terror in Iraq want justice, not revenge, says head of UN investigation team

European creativity and digital economy are drowning in a copyright swamp

This is what Belgium’s traffic-choked capital is doing about emissions

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

How COVID-19 is throttling vital migration flows

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

How to outsmart bias when you’re recruiting

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

EU to fail 2050 Green targets due to lack of European citizens’ engagement

5 ways Coca-Cola is cleaning up its plastic footprint in Africa

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

More electric cars on EU roads by 2030

Monday’s Daily Brief: Nigeria massacre, Libya shelling condemned; recycled plastic used to build classrooms in Côte d’Ivoire

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

3 ways India can tackle its human-waste problem

Fleeing violence, Cameroonian refugee arrivals in Nigeria pass 30,000, reports UN refugee agency

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

‘Once-in-a-generation opportunity’ will be squandered, warns Guterres, unless social, economic, environmental challenges are met

UN and Red Cross chiefs appeal for end to use of explosive weapons in cities

As urbanisation grows, cities unveil sustainable development solutions on World Day

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

Towards a tobacco free India

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

6 ways China and the United States could jumpstart trade reforms

Have Europe’s Ukrainian wounds begun to heal?

Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

EU Summit’s major takeaway: a handkerchief cannot save Greece from austerity

Preparing Africa for ravages of climate change ‘cannot be an afterthought’ – COP24

It’s time to ‘eliminate the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence’, urges UN chief

‘Crimes against humanity,’ ‘war crimes’ and risk of new ethnic violence in DR Congo, warn UN experts

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: third annual report shows continued vital and tangible support for refugees and their host communities

European Defence Fund: EU funds new joint research and industrial projects

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

‘Our concern now is the southern hemisphere’ – COVID Action Platform convenes leaders on the challenges ahead

FROM THE FIELD: 10,000 Indonesia quake survivors to receive UN tents

Lack of basic water facilities risks millions of lives globally: UN health agency

Sustainability is now mission critical for businesses. Here’s why

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

Civilians suffering due to sanctions must be spared ‘collective punishment’ urges UN rights expert

EU Commission indifferent on Court of Auditors’ recommendations

Brexit talks started with a London handicap and Brussels’ sternness

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Metallo by Aurubis

Could the fourth wave of globalization help to end epidemics?

Norway’s electric car market has overtaken traditional vehicle sales

Earth Hour 2019: switch off your lights, and become an innovator

Sudan Prime Minister survives attempted assassination

Millennials aren’t voting – but these young leaders have a plan to change that

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Interview with ourselves: the mental health of health professionals

Mental health in midst of a pandemic: can we help?

Nearly 5 million children in need due to rising violence in central Sahel: UNICEF

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

Why protesters disrupted London Fashion Week

‘Stay together and step up’ action to meet Global Goals, ECOSOC President tells development forum

Humanitarian visas would reduce refugees’ death toll

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s