2011/2023(INI)

Towards a stronger European disaster response: the role of civil protection and humanitarian assistance

Procedure completed

Activites

  • 2011/09/27 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    • T7-0404/2011 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2011/07/19 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/07/19 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/07/13 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • #3085
  • 2011/05/12 Council Meeting
  • 2011/05/11 Deadline Amendments
  • 2011/03/30 Committee draft report
  • 2011/02/17 Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament
  • 2011/02/17 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/02/10 EP officialisation
  • 2010/10/26 Non-legislative basic document published
    • COM(2010)0600 summary
  • 2010/10/26 Date
  • 2010/10/26 Non-legislative basic document
    • COM(2010)0600 summary
    • DG Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, GEORGIEVA Kristalina

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
166 2011/2023(INI) Towards a stronger European disaster response: the role of civil protection and humanitarian assistance
2011/05/13 ENVI 102 amendments...
source: PE-464.916
2011/05/26 AFET 17 amendments...
source: PE-464.910
2011/05/27 DEVE 6 amendments...
source: PE-465.024
2011/05/30 REGI 41 amendments...
source: PE-466.979

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • date
    2010-10-26
    docs
    • url
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2010&nu_doc=0600
      text
      • PURPOSE: to propose a strategy with a view to improving the European Union's disaster response.

        BACKGROUND: whether it is an earthquake in Haiti or floods in Pakistan, the EU Member States and EU institutions have responded well to the many disasters that have struck this year, both in the EU and further afield. The quality of this response has helped to demonstrate to EU citizens and Member States the added value brought by EU actions in the field of crisis response.

        At the same time, demands on the EU's disaster response capacity are likely to increase, as disasters continue to grow both in size and frequency. Current budgetary pressures also call for further efforts to promote an efficient use of scarce resources.

        The Lisbon Treaty offers an opportunity to build a stronger, more comprehensive, better coordinated and more efficient disaster response capacity in the European Union drawing on the following guiding principles:

        • the EU should be able to respond effectively and in a spirit of solidarity to disasters both inside and outside the EU;
        • the EU disaster response capacity should address all types of disasters (i.e. natural and man-made, other than armed conflicts) that overwhelm national response capacities and result in a need for EU assistance;
        • a fully coherent approach for disasters outside the EU will need to bring together the different constituencies that could possibly be deployed (depending on the nature of the crisis);
        • when responding specifically to humanitarian needs caused by disasters outside the EU, EU assistance is bound to act in accordance with internationally agreed humanitarian principles;
        • an approach that balances response with disaster prevention and preparedness is the best way to respond to the increasing threats posed by disasters.

        Improved cost effectiveness can be achieved through a better pooling of assets in order to reduce costs and avoid a duplication of efforts.

        CONTENT: building on the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid (2007),the Communication on Reinforcing the Union's Disaster Response Capacity (2008), this communication focuses on civil protection and humanitarian aid which are the two main instruments at the EU's disposal to ensure rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance to people faced with the immediate consequences of disasters.

        This Communication should be seen as the first building block of a broader and more coherent effort towards a strengthened EU disaster response. Legislative texts will be proposed in 2011 to implement the key proposals.

        The Communication proposes:

        1) The creation of a European Emergency Response Capacity based on pre-committed Member States' assets and pre-agreed contingency plans: the EU needs to shift from ad hoc coordination to a system where advance planning allows core assets to be available for immediate deployment. In order to improve planningof EU civil protection operations, the Commission proposes to: i) develop reference scenarios for the main types of disasters (including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) and cross-border terrorist attacks) inside and outside the EU; ii) identify and map key existing assets that could be made available by Member States for the EU emergency response to these scenarios; iii) develop contingency plans for the deployment of these assets.

        To enhance the availability of key assets, the Commission proposes a pooling of pre-identified civil protection assets from the states participating in the Civil Protection Mechanism that are voluntarily made available for EU disaster relief operations both inside and outside the Union.

        The Commission also proposes:

        • improving the prepositioning of relief assets by reinforcing the rapid availability of assets for humanitarian actors in external emergencies;
        • ensuring that needs are assessed on time and with precision so that decisions on the assistance to be provided are based on reliable information;
        • deployment of the Technical Assistance and Support Teams more systematically, especially in situations where local infrastructure has collapsed, and develop contractual arrangements to ensure their guaranteed availability;
        • simplification and reinforcement of existing arrangements for the pooling and cofinancing of transport assets to ensure the delivery of aid to the countries affected, as well as its delivery to the precise area where it is most required;
        • the development of the European Emergency Response Centre as the Commission's operational emergency relief interface with the CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) coordination tools.

        2) The development of an Emergency Response Centre: the Commission will merge the Civil Protection and the DG ECHO crisis rooms to create a genuine 24/7 European Emergency Response Centre. The centre will ensure a continuous exchange of information with both the civil protection and humanitarian aid authorities on the needs for assistance and the offers made by EU Member States and other actors. This will ensure that Member States can make informed decisions on funding and offering additional assistance. The centre will also develop reference scenarios for the main types of disasters inside and outside the EU.

        Stronger EU co-ordination will reinforce the UN's role by ensuring a coherent EU contribution to UN-led relief efforts. It is also important that EU funding, through international and local partner organisations, is properly acknowledged and visible in situ (except in cases where the presence of EU symbols would make the delivery of aid more difficult) and on the internet.

      title
      COM(2010)0600
      type
      Non-legislative basic document published
      celexid
      CELEX:52010DC0600:EN
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      text
      • PURPOSE: to propose a strategy with a view to improving the European Union's disaster response.

        BACKGROUND: whether it is an earthquake in Haiti or floods in Pakistan, the EU Member States and EU institutions have responded well to the many disasters that have struck this year, both in the EU and further afield. The quality of this response has helped to demonstrate to EU citizens and Member States the added value brought by EU actions in the field of crisis response.

        At the same time, demands on the EU's disaster response capacity are likely to increase, as disasters continue to grow both in size and frequency. Current budgetary pressures also call for further efforts to promote an efficient use of scarce resources.

        The Lisbon Treaty offers an opportunity to build a stronger, more comprehensive, better coordinated and more efficient disaster response capacity in the European Union drawing on the following guiding principles:

        • the EU should be able to respond effectively and in a spirit of solidarity to disasters both inside and outside the EU;
        • the EU disaster response capacity should address all types of disasters (i.e. natural and man-made, other than armed conflicts) that overwhelm national response capacities and result in a need for EU assistance;
        • a fully coherent approach for disasters outside the EU will need to bring together the different constituencies that could possibly be deployed (depending on the nature of the crisis);
        • when responding specifically to humanitarian needs caused by disasters outside the EU, EU assistance is bound to act in accordance with internationally agreed humanitarian principles;
        • an approach that balances response with disaster prevention and preparedness is the best way to respond to the increasing threats posed by disasters.

        Improved cost effectiveness can be achieved through a better pooling of assets in order to reduce costs and avoid a duplication of efforts.

        CONTENT: building on the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid (2007),the Communication on Reinforcing the Union's Disaster Response Capacity (2008), this communication focuses on civil protection and humanitarian aid which are the two main instruments at the EU's disposal to ensure rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance to people faced with the immediate consequences of disasters.

        This Communication should be seen as the first building block of a broader and more coherent effort towards a strengthened EU disaster response. Legislative texts will be proposed in 2011 to implement the key proposals.

        The Communication proposes:

        1) The creation of a European Emergency Response Capacity based on pre-committed Member States' assets and pre-agreed contingency plans: the EU needs to shift from ad hoc coordination to a system where advance planning allows core assets to be available for immediate deployment. In order to improve planningof EU civil protection operations, the Commission proposes to: i) develop reference scenarios for the main types of disasters (including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) and cross-border terrorist attacks) inside and outside the EU; ii) identify and map key existing assets that could be made available by Member States for the EU emergency response to these scenarios; iii) develop contingency plans for the deployment of these assets.

        To enhance the availability of key assets, the Commission proposes a pooling of pre-identified civil protection assets from the states participating in the Civil Protection Mechanism that are voluntarily made available for EU disaster relief operations both inside and outside the Union.

        The Commission also proposes:

        • improving the prepositioning of relief assets by reinforcing the rapid availability of assets for humanitarian actors in external emergencies;
        • ensuring that needs are assessed on time and with precision so that decisions on the assistance to be provided are based on reliable information;
        • deployment of the Technical Assistance and Support Teams more systematically, especially in situations where local infrastructure has collapsed, and develop contractual arrangements to ensure their guaranteed availability;
        • simplification and reinforcement of existing arrangements for the pooling and cofinancing of transport assets to ensure the delivery of aid to the countries affected, as well as its delivery to the precise area where it is most required;
        • the development of the European Emergency Response Centre as the Commission's operational emergency relief interface with the CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) coordination tools.

        2) The development of an Emergency Response Centre: the Commission will merge the Civil Protection and the DG ECHO crisis rooms to create a genuine 24/7 European Emergency Response Centre. The centre will ensure a continuous exchange of information with both the civil protection and humanitarian aid authorities on the needs for assistance and the offers made by EU Member States and other actors. This will ensure that Member States can make informed decisions on funding and offering additional assistance. The centre will also develop reference scenarios for the main types of disasters inside and outside the EU.

        Stronger EU co-ordination will reinforce the UN's role by ensuring a coherent EU contribution to UN-led relief efforts. It is also important that EU funding, through international and local partner organisations, is properly acknowledged and visible in situ (except in cases where the presence of EU symbols would make the delivery of aid more difficult) and on the internet.

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    text
    • At the request of Belgium and in light of the nuclear accident in Japan, the Council was briefed by the Commission on the situation in Japan, and had an exchange of views on how existing preparedness and response mechanisms to nuclear incidents could be strengthened, mainly within the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

      The suggestions presented by Belgium include:

      • to more closely involve national and international nuclear authorities in the activities of the work of the EU's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC);
      • to identify and improve reference scenarios for nuclear incidents (such as Chernobyl, Fukushima and others) and the specific means necessary to respond;
      • to give priority to certain reference scenarios based on comprehensive and high quality risk assessments, alongside a more predictable availability of member states key assets (e.g. iodine tablets, alternative cooling systems, decontamination units, nuclear experts, robot modules etc.), including through the possible creation of an assets pool.

      With a view to improving civil protection operations, the Commission had proposed last yearthe development of reference scenarios for the main types of disasters, including CBRN(Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) and cross-border terrorist attacks, inside and out the EU (see COM(2010)0600).

      In addition, the existing Civil Protection legislation is currently subject to a review. A legislative proposal is expected to be presented by the Commission later this year.

    council
    Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)
    date
    2011-05-12
    type
    Council Meeting
  • date
    2011-07-13
    text
    • The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted the own-initiative report drafted by Elisabetta GARDINI (EPP, IT) in response to the Commission communication entitled: 'Towards a stronger European disaster response: the role of civil protection and humanitarian assistance'.

      Members welcome the communication and its objectives. They support the Commission's proposal to establish a European emergency response capacity, including arrangements to guarantee the more predictable availability of Member States' key assets. They endorse the need for a qualitative shift from the current ad hoc coordination to a predictable and pre-planned system within the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

      The Commission is called upon to bring forward proposals as soon as possible for establishing an EU civil protection force, based on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and enabling the Union to bring together the resources necessary for providing civil protection and immediate emergency relief aid to the victims.

      According to Members, the European disaster response should build both on a European emergency response capacity through the strengthening of the European Civil Protection Mechanism based on the capacities and availability of pre-identified and therefore predictable Member States' emergency assets and on a European emergency response centre as the cornerstones of such a strategy. They underline that these developments should follow an all-hazards approach, bringing together all relevant players - in particular civil society - including non-governmental organisations and volunteers, for joined-up action, and should exploit synergies among the various existing tools and instruments.

      The report emphasises that the European disaster response system should respect the principle of subsidiarity both of the Member States (who should be able to use their own assets, especially in any case of conflicting national needs) and of the United Nations.

      The Commission is invited, when setting up the European disaster response capability, to take into account the Solidarity Clause and its implementation arrangements, which need to be adopted as a matter of urgency and which will ensure a more effective and coherent response to disasters inside and outside the European Union.

      (1) European Emergency Response Capacity: Members consider that the pool of pre-identified capacities, resources and assets made available on a voluntary basis for EU disaster relief interventions, both inside and outside the Union, will constitute the nucleus of the EU relief capability, which could be complemented by additional ad hoc offers from the Member States.

      The report recommends that a clear and detailed scheme of incentives should be designed in order to permit Member States to commit sufficient capacities to the voluntary pool without increasing the overall spending of the Member States.

      Members call on the Commission, along with the Member States, to identify existing capacity gaps. The creation of EU-level assets should be considered, avoiding any form of competition and/or overlap with national assets, in order to fill existing capacity gaps where they would result in significant savings for the EU as a whole or enable access to assets that are not available for Member States acting alone, thus offering a good model for burden-sharing.

      The report considers: (i) advanced planning and the preparation of operations by developing reference scenarios; (ii) mapping Member States' assets potentially available for deployment in EU disaster relief operations and (iii) contingency planning as key elements of an enhanced EU disaster response and essential for rapid deployment and immediate appropriate response to each emergency.

      Members call in particular for adequate planning for specific contingencies to respond to manmade disasters related to oil spills, nuclear installations or involving hazardous substances both on land and at sea.

      (2) European Emergency Response Centre: Members welcome the Commission's decision to merge the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) and ECHO humanitarian aid crisis room to create a genuine 24/7 Emergency Response Centre as a planning and operational coordination platform as a step in the right direction and call for this also to be implemented in real-time cooperation by the Member

      States, in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, in the areas of monitoring, issuing early-warnings and sounding the alarm. They call for an effective merging of the ECHO crisis room and the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), whilst ensuring adequate funding.

      The Commission is called upon to: (i) actively involve the new European Emergency Response Centre in the two Community tools to protect forests from forest fires: EFFIS and EFFICS; (ii) coordinate actions in case of emergency, simplifying and optimising the existing universal service and the 112 emergency number.

      (3) Disaster Response, preparedness and prevention: the report stresses the vital need to complement the policy for enhancing the EU's emergency reaction capacity by stepping up the EU's and Member States' risk prediction and prevention policies.  

      Members encourage the Commission to prepare a comprehensive and innovative EU strategy on disaster risk reduction. They call for sufficient resources to be dedicated to early identification of possible disasters and ask the Commission to ensure that the revision of the Structural Funds and the Solidarity Fund are used to encourage the development of policies and investments in these areas.

      Lastly, the report calls for a comprehensive communications strategy, involving all EU institutions, Member States, social partners and civil society that will improve the overall visibility and transparency of European actions in beneficiary countries as well as among European citizens, while ensuring that disaster relief is never subordinate to trading or political and strategic concerns.

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ENVI/7/04687
reference
2011/2023(INI)
title
Towards a stronger European disaster response: the role of civil protection and humanitarian assistance
legal_basis
  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 048
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Procedure completed
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INI - Own-initiative procedure
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© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament