The Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council kicked-off on January 5, when the Council's President Charles Michel visited the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa.
On its programme, the Portuguese Presidency highlights work ahead in the fields of disaster management and civil protection.
"The Presidency will work to establish an ambitious and comprehensive EU disaster management system that, with a focus on solidarity and integration, will foster greater collective resilience in responding to emergencies, including the repatriation of citizens stranded in third countries. We will prioritise strengthening the Union Civil Protection Mechanism as well as establishing strategic reserves of essential supplies and supporting specific military capabilities to enable a more rapid, flexible and cross-cutting disaster response," reads the programme.
"Priority will be given to strengthening joint preparedness and to the additional mechanisms for Member States’ solidarity, increasing the capacity of rescEU (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) and enriching the European Civil Protection Knowledge Network. The Presidency will foster local consular cooperation between Member States and EU delegations with a view to crisis preparedness."