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Brussels, 14 January 2008

The European Commission awards funding to new civil protection simulation exercises and projects

The European Commission has awarded grants worth €4.07 million to projects and large-scale pan-European simulation exercises proposed under the recently adopted Civil Protection Financial Instrument. The exercises will involve earthquake and flooding simulations, and will be led by organisations from five European countries. An information day is being organised on 14 January in Brussels for the 2008 call for proposals, for projects and exercises to take place in 2009.

Seven simulation exercises to be led by France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the United Kingdom and Sweden have been awarded just over €2.6 million. The exercises will feature a variety of scenarios, including earthquakes and cross-border flooding. Simulation exercises promote a common understanding of co-operation in civil protection assistance interventions and help accelerate response in major emergencies. These learning exercises test response capabilities and provide an opportunity for all actors involved in operations under the Community Civil Protection Mechanism to enhance their operational co-operation. The exercises will take place over 2008-2009.

The six selected projects will share €1.47 million in funding. They are led by organisations from five European countries (Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Belgium).

The projects cover:

  • fighting forest fires
  • preparing the public, especially vulnerable groups, for natural disasters
  • helping municipalities prepare for climate change and any resulting floods
  • cooperation between European volunteer organisations during emergencies
  • training professional and volunteer fire-fighters, local civil protection services and volunteer groups for common emergencies
  • disseminating the results of previous EU civil protection activities to improve community resilience.

The six projects also include organisations from various Member States including Italy, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Finland, Cyprus, and Estonia. The projects are due to be completed by the end of 2009.

The Civil Protection Financial Instrument is intended to support and complement the efforts of Member States for the protection of people, the environment and property (including cultural heritage) in the event of natural and man-made disasters, acts of terrorism and technological, radiological or environmental accidents. It also facilitates reinforced co-operation between Member States in the field of civil protection. It covers response and preparedness actions, and has a financial envelope of around €190 million for 2007-2013.

Today the European Commission is also organising an Information Day for the 2008 call for proposals for projects and exercises.

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