EP plenary to vote about an upgrade of the EU civil defence mechanism

An upgrade of the EU’s civil defence mechanism, tested to its limits in 2017 and 2018 by forest fires, storms and floods, will be put to a vote on Tuesday before the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg. Earlier MEPs will discuss about this issue with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

The new legislation, informally agreed with Council in December, will help member states to respond faster and more effectively to natural and man-made disasters, by sharing civil protection assets more efficiently.

The draft law will also set up, upon Parliament’s request, a RescEU reserve of resources, such as forest fire-fighting planes, high-capacity pumps, field hospitals and emergency medical teams, for use in all kinds of emergencies. RescEU will step in when member states do not have enough resources to respond to a disaster.

The EUs Civil Protection Mechanism is currently a voluntary system, through which the EU coordinates participating states’ voluntary contributions to a country that has requested assistance. In recent years, extreme weather conditions and other phenomena have stretched member states’ ability to help each other, especially when several face the same type of disaster simultaneously. When limited or no support is available, the EU does not have a reserve capacity to assist overwhelmed member states.

Meanwhile, MEPs will exchange at 1700 today views about the future of Europe with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. This will be the seventeenth in a series of debates between MEPs and EU heads of state or government.

At 1500, European Commission Vice President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will make a statement before the plenary about the situation in Syria.

Source: Cyprus News Agency