Commission brings the latest data on disaster risk with new report 

The European Commission's humanitarian aid office — DG ECHO — published the 2020 edition of the report “Overview of Natural and Man-made Disaster Risks the European Union May Face“. The publication presents the latest available evidence on disaster risks, such as floods, wildfires or diseases, that threaten the EU, drawing on the national risk assessments developed by the EU Member States and on the Commission’s cross-sectoral policy and scientific work.  

During our recent PSCE Conference, we welcomed a speaker from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), who made a presentation of the World Disasters Report 2020 comparing it to the Commission’s own report. The IFRC’s speaker agreed that the EU’s work, alike to that of the IFRC, presents a guiding tool for first responders, civil protection authorities and society as a whole. 

Recently, the Commission launched a knowledge centre to reverse biodiversity loss and protect Europe’s ecosystems — the Knowledge Centre for Earth Observation. This initiative, in line with the European Green Deal, will monitor through satellite imagery the Earth’s atmosphere and it will also help to assess potential natural disasters in the EU territory. 

As the threats posed by natural disasters, such as floods and wildfires, are becoming increasing realities, PSCE welcomes the work developed by the European Commission and the IFRC in ensuring preparedness and timely response during critical situations.  

Successful PSCE Conference features EU cybersecurity, climate emergency, AI and space applications  

We are happy to announce that the PSCE Conference, on 19 and 20 January, was an unparalleled success, welcoming nearly 500 registrants within the public safety sector. During our virtual event, we gave the floor to 20 speakers who have addressed topics ranging from artificial intelligence for the public preparedness and disaster response (PPDR) sector, cybersecurity, climate emergency and new space applications.  

Our honourable speakers represented high-level institutions such as the European Commission (DG CONNECT), the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Parliament. 

Public safety organisations, Industry, Researchers presented their perspectives and shared their expertise. This led to a significant level of engagement of the audience. Overall, we thrived to provide a balanced debate focusing on the most trending policies, technology and activities surrounding the public safety sector. We made it clear that the work developed by first responders and for first responders is paramount for a secure and resilient society! 

We have uploaded our speakers’ presentations on the PSCE website and a report on the conference will shortly follow. 

Portuguese Presidency to strengthen Civil Protection and Disaster Management in the EU

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."

BroadWay at the PSCE online conferencce

The status of the BroadWay project will be presented at the Online PSCE Conference during an extended session on 19 January 2021.

The BroadWay innovation procurement project (pre-commercial procurement) intends to enhance Operational Mobility for Public Safety and is funding development of innovative solutions. The project is now in Phase two of the procurement cycle and has awarded 3 contracts for the development of 3 solution prototypes.

A brief introduction on the progress of the project will be presented by David Lund (BroadWay coordinator). Thereafter, the three currently competing consortia, respectively led by AIRBUS, FREQUENTIS and LEONARDO will present their prototype solution, to enable Pan-European Broadband Mobile Communication for Public Safety.

This will be a unique opportunity to learn more about the first results of the industrial solutions being developed and to see how the challenges are met.