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New European Commission civil protection initiative in Euro-Mediterranean region

European Commission - IP/12/1188   08/11/2012

Other available languages: FR DE

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 8 November 2012

New European Commission civil protection initiative in Euro-Mediterranean region

The European Commission announced today the launching of a new civil protection programme in the Mediterranean region, building on the achievements of the successful Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters (PPRD).

The new programme will start in the spring of 2013 and will run until 2016. It was announced at a high-level conference in Brussels which marked the completion of the current PPRD programme.

Speaking at the conference, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva said: "In the last 20 years 1,085 disasters occurred in the Mediterranean region, killing almost 47,000 people. This means one disaster per week. No country can cope with such frequent and large challenges on its own, and clearly more and better regional cooperation is needed. The PPRD South is an example of the benefits of such cooperation brings not only to the countries of the region but also to their citizens by increasing disaster prevention, preparedness and response capacities."

"Beyond showing solidarity in the event of crisis, we need to cooperate in preventing and mitigating such events. Being well prepared means being prepared to act together. We have already achieved a lot thanks to this programme, but there is more to be done. There is real added value in continuing regional efforts in Civil Protection. It's only by joining forces that we can help to shape a Mediterranean more prepared for natural or man-made disaster," added European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.

The new civil protection programme will have a strong focus on prevention and preparation rather than on response to disasters. It will address the following issues:

1. Reinforcing co-operation between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean Partner institutions involved in civil protection;

2. Encouraging coordinated responses of countries affected by the same disaster;

3. Stimulating the development of a regional approach to disaster management, based on prevention and preparedness; involving not only governments but also civil society.

The new programme will be financed with €5 million, coming from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

Background

PPRD South I Programme

The PPRD South I Programme has set up an effective network of National Correspondents for Civil Protection in the region. It has provided extensive training and has reinforced the region's ability to prepare and react to disasters.

It has also compiled an operational Civil Protection Manual, which has become a reference tool for Civil Protection professionals across the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the programme has developed a Risk Atlas, which is an online tool displaying vulnerability and exposure to natural and man-made disasters in the Mediterranean. The Atlas provides scientific evidence for prioritisation of investments in infrastructure and equipment to respond to disasters. It also serves as a tool for policy developments aiming to reduce possible risks of disasters and recovery planning efforts.

The civil protection programme started in March 2009, with a total budget of €5 million. The PPRD South I Programme works with the Civil Protection Authorities of the participating countries and is managed by a consortium consisting of the Civil Protection Authorities of Italy, France, Egypt and Algeria as well as the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). The programme’s beneficiary countries are Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia, Turkey, Israel, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro. Mauritania participates as observer.

High Level Conference on Future orientation of the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue and Co-operation in the field of Civil Protection

Along with European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, other participants included Special UN Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, Deputy Minister of Interior of Egypt General Bakr, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean Fathallah Sijilmassi and high level Civil Protection and Defence Officials from EU Member States and Southern Mediterranean countries (including the Balkans).

For more information

Website of the DG ECHO – EU Civil Protection Mechanism:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/policies/disaster_response/mechanism_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Website of the DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/fule/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)


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