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.