Brussels, 22 May 2005
Romania’s request for European civil protection assistance has triggered a rapid response from the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) of the European Commission. The first convoys with European assistance arrived on Saturday and more assistance is on its way. On Thursday evening, the MIC alerted the national civil protection authorities of the European countries participating in the Community Civil Protection Mechanism in order to co-ordinate the European relief efforts.
Heavy rains in April and May caused floods and landslides in Romania, affecting thousands of people and destroying hundreds of houses. In the evening of 19 May 2005, the Romanian authorities launched an appeal for international assistance through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) of the European Commission and the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre of NATO. The MIC immediately alerted the civil protection authorities of the Member States, keeping both NATO and the UN informed of its relief efforts.
Commenting on the importance of an effective disaster response capacity for the EU, the responsible European Commissioner for the Environment, Stavros Dimas said: “Immediate civil protection assistance, provided through the Community Civil Protection Mechanism, is certainly one of the most powerful and tangible expressions of European solidarity with the victims of disasters. The Member States’ generous response to Romania’s request for assistance underscores the importance of further efforts at European level to strengthen the co-ordination of the civil protection mechanism.”
The following Member States have offered assistance to Romania through the Monitoring and Information Centre:
The assistance intervention in Romania builds on lessons learned and experience gained from providing assistance in a broad range of previous disasters both inside and outside the EU, including floods in Central Europe (2002) and France (2003), the Prestige accident (2002), the earthquakes in Algeria (2003), Iran (2003) and Morocco (2004), the forest fires in France and Portugal (2003, 2004), the explosion in Asunción (2004), the tsunami emergency in South Asia (2004) and (snow) storms in Sweden and Albania (2005).