EU Civil Protection Forum assesses how to improve EU crisis response

By European Commission

EU Civil Protection Forum assesses how to improve EU crisis response

The European civil protection community will discuss lessons learned and ways forward in civil protection during the 8th edition of the European Civil Protection Forum.

The European Commission is organizing this conference under the theme of shaping a disaster-resilient Union: charting a path for the future of European civil protection. The event will be a timely opportunity to look back at what has been achieved by the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and to generate ideas for development, innovation, and collaboration in the field of disaster risk management going forward.

The Civil Protection Forum offers an opportunity for experts to discuss the latest evaluation of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). The evaluation, adopted by the European Commission on 29 May 2024, shows that a more coordinated response across different sectors and levels will be needed in the face of the increasing number, and severity, of complex emergencies.

The evaluation, which was presented at the Civil Protection Forum by Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič, found that the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre – its crisis hub – is best placed to coordinate disaster management for effectively supporting and complementing the efforts of Member States in prevention, preparedness, and response.

In addition, the evaluation showed that rescEU, which is the EU’s own reserve of equipment and supplies to respond to disasters, is an effective and efficient EU tool to bolster the EU’s resilience.

However, the evaluation also raised concerns that the UCPM’s flexibility might not be sufficient to address new needs and developments going forward, with disasters becoming ever more frequent and complex. Climate change exacerbates this trend.

The European Commission has worked hard to build up its prevention, preparedness, and response capacities to ensure that Europe is ready for a more unpredictable future. Looking forward, it is crucial Europe builds on the lessons learned and continues to strengthen its civil protection capacities. This is the only way to keep people safe.