Floods: EU mobilises emergency equipment to assist Italian authorities

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Following a new request for assistance from Italy, the EU has mobilised offers of pumping equipment from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to help the Italian authorities deal with heavy floods. The request comes after severe weather conditions in Italy have caused floods and landslides in the past days, affecting particularly the northern-central region of Emilia Romagna.

On 21 May, the Italian authorities activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The request for assistance concerns high-capacity pumping equipment from the European Civil Protection Pool. 

The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre has been in constant contact with the Italian authorities, who are currently assessing the offers, and the EU stands ready to provide further help if needed. 

The EU’s Copernicus service has also provided emergency satellite mapping of the affected areas, following a request from the Italian civil protection authority on 16 May.


When an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country in Europe and beyond, it can request assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the disaster response worldwide. Since its inception in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated for more than 600 emergencies and crises inside and outside the EU. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism aims to strengthen cooperation between the 27 EU countries and now 9 Participating States (Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Türkiye, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and most recently Ukraine) on civil protection to improve prevention, preparedness, and response to disasters.

A joint approach further helps pool expertise and capacities of first responders, avoids duplication of relief efforts, and ensures that assistance meets the needs of those affected. Pooling together civil protection capacities and capabilities allows for a stronger and more coherent collective response.

The Mechanism also helps coordinate disaster preparedness and prevention activities of national authorities and contributes to the exchange of best practices. This facilitates the continuous development of higher common standards enabling teams to understand different approaches better and work interchangeably when a disaster strikes.

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