Council and Parliament agree on strengthening EU Civil Protection Mechanism

The Council presidency and European Parliament representatives reached a provisional agreement on a proposal to strengthen the EU civil protection mechanism, on 8 February.

The proposed new rules will allow the EU and the member states to be better prepared for natural and man made disasters and to respond faster when they strike, including in cases which affect a majority of member states simultaneously. The text also sets out the funding of the civil protection mechanism in the context of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027.

“The EU civil protection mechanism is an essential tool of EU solidarity. It has provided vital support for member states facing devastating fires, earthquakes and other disasters. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the challenges faced when many member states are in need of support simultaneously. The new rules will allow us to be even better prepared for similar situations in the future,” said Eduardo Cabrita, Portuguese Minister of Home Affairs.

In order to deploy crisis relief more swiftly, the Commission will be able to directly acquire, under specific conditions, the necessary resources under rescEU. 1.263 billion EUR will be allocated to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) under the 2021-2027 financing period, supplemented by 2.056 billion EUR from the EU Recovery Instrument, an overall budget that is roughly five times larger than the one available during the previous seven years. Parliament ensured that enough financial resources are allocated to the three pillars (prevention, preparedness and response to disasters) of the mechanism, ring-fencing prevention spending.

Workshop: People with Disabilities in Search & Rescue Operations

The Search & Rescue project is conveying a Workshop on “People with Disabilities in Search & Recue Operations” to take place online (Webex) on 30 March 2021 from 9h50 until 12H00 CET.

High level expert from relevant international organisations (IFRC, European Disability Forum) will provide an overview of existing disability-inclusive developments and initiatives in humanitarian and search and rescue operations. This will be complemented by a view from on-the-ground practitioners (Firefighter Corps) who will share their experience as well as guidelines on emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

More details on the workshop and registration on this page.

Commission requests ENISA to develop a 5G certification scheme

The European Commission has tasked the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, ENISA, to prepare the EU's cybersecurity certification scheme for 5G networks that will help address risks related to technical vulnerabilities of the networks and further enhance their cybersecurity.

Certification plays a critical role in increasing trust and security in digital products and services – however, at the moment, there are various security certification schemes for IT products, including 5G networks, in Europe.

The Commission recognises the importance of having a single common scheme for certification that would make easier for businesses to trade across borders and for customers to understand the security features of a given product or service.

“Security is at the core of 5G technology roll-out. EU-wide certification, in combination with other types of measures in the EU 5G Toolbox, supports our efforts to optimise 5G security and patch technical vulnerabilities. This is why it is important that Member States make further progress in implementing the Toolbox”, said the Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton.

BroadGNSS presented during PSCE Conference

On the second day of the PSCE bi-annual conference that took place on 19 and 20th January 2021, Dr David Lund, President of PSCE and Project Coordinator of the BroadWay and BroadGNSS projects, gave a presentation on the recently launched BroadGNSS pre-commerical procurement (PCP) project.  

“We will soon launch public procurement procedures to procure solutions that can improve timing, synchronisation and positioning to support new capabilities mobile communication for public preparedness and disaster response (PPDR),” said David Lund, PSCE’s president.  

The BroadGNSS PCP, which launched on the 1 December 2020, involves the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (European GNSS Agency – GSA) as the granting authority and a consortium of 3 public sector bodies (the buyers’ group) responsible for public protection and disaster relief: 

  • French Ministere de l’Interieur (also lead procurer), 
  • Estonian Riigi Infokommunikatsiooni Sihtasutus (State Infocommunication Foundation) 
  • Finnish Erillisverkot (State Security Networks Group) 

Among the aims of the BroadGNSS PCP as outlined by Mr Lund, include the procurement of application systems that will enable: 

  • a European / Galileo based solution, 
  • time-synchronisation in the future public safety organisation’s mission-critical wireless broadband networks, 
  • secure and highly accurate time synchronisation of public safety organisation’s used mission-critical “Internet-of-Public-Safety-Things” (IoPST / IoT). 

Dr Lund explained that the PCP is a competitive process, governed by EU rules and legislation, designed to compare different approaches on a phased basis –eventually leading to the selection of the vendors that best address this challenge.   

In the short-term, the BroadGNSS consortium will carry out a requirements validation to help the buyer’s group define the common challenge, which will entail considering the opinion of public authorities across Europe. An Open Market Consultation (OMC) is also planned, which will be the first dialogue between potential vendors and the buyer’s group. 

A link to the presentation “Improving mission critical services with GNSS applications” can be found here: 

 (minute 34:06). 

A link to the BroadGNSS PCP website can be found here

If you would like to find out more about the PSCE conference, further information, including the presentations from 25 speakers over the two-day conference can be found here

Stay tuned for for the upcoming publication of the Prior Information Notice.

Focus on BroadWay during PSCE Conference

On 19 January 2021, the first day of PSCE’s two-day bi-annual conference, the lead contractors of the three supply teams currently participating in the second phase (Prototype Development) of the BroadWay pre-commercial procurement (PCP) project - Airbus DS SLC, Leonardo S.p.A. and Frequentis AG, were each invited to give a presentation on their concept and progress to participants.  

The BroadWay PCP, which officially started in May 2018, is driven by 11 buyers from 11 Member States who share a common need for a pan-European interoperable mobile system for PPDR. The PCP is a competitive process, governed by EU rules and legislation, designed to compare different approaches to the buyers’ common needs on a phased basis – and to eventually select the supply teams that best address this challenge.  

You can view each of the supply team’s videos and presentations from the PSCE conference, which is preceded by a short introductory presentation from David Lund, the Coordinator of the BroadWay project. You can watch each presentation below: 

  • Airbus DS SLC’s presentation, given by Eric Davalo, Vice President of Strategic Development at Airbus DS SLC, emphasised that BroadWay is critical to all Europe countries and as it is driven by end-user needs in security and public safety; it is key to have an operational solution that is not too complex for those already dealing with stressful situations. 

 

  • Leonardo S.p.A.‘s presentation given byClaudio Becchetti, Head of Product, Services and Solutions Portfolio, at Leonardo S.p.A. stressed the importance of going from technology to operations, with an emphasis on standards. 

 

  • Frequentis AG’s presentation, given by Charlotte Roesener, New Business Development Manager at Frequentis AG, emphasised their target of delivering a transparent and seamless operational solution that allows safety-critical communication all over Europe. 

The next stage of the PCP is the technical evaluation of the three prototypes developed coupled with a practitioner assessment of the usability of the solutions, due in spring 2021.  

You can also review the presentations of the PSCE conference here, which had a total of 25 speakers, covering topical focus for the Public Safety sector.