Civil protection funding: Council agrees its negotiating position

The EU is strengthening its response to natural and man made disasters, by making sure member states are better prepared and support can quickly arrive where it is needed. EU ambassadors today agreed on the negotiating mandate for the funding of the civil protection mechanism in the context of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027.

The agreed mandate foresees a total of  €1 263 million in funds, following the political guidance provided by the European Council on 21 July 2020. The mandate also includes an amount of up to €2 056 million to implement the civil protection related measures to address the impact of the Covid-19 crisis foreseen in the EU recovery instrument.

This is an increase of around 300% as compared to the 2014-2020 budget. It reflects the strengthening of the EU’s collective response to disasters, including the recent establishment of a reserve of capacities (rescEU), the reinforcement of the European civil protection pool and the improvements in disaster prevention and preparedness.

Moreover, the negotiating mandate provides more flexibility to allocate the funds where they are needed, by no longer defining in advance the percentage of funds to be allocated to prevention, preparedness and response respectively. This change will allow the EU to better react to the unpredictable nature of disasters and allocate the funds where they are most needed.

The negotiating mandate agreed covers only the financial aspects of the proposal presented by the Commission on 2 June 2020, which aims to enable more efficient, effective and flexible action under the EU civil protection mechanism.

While the Council welcomes the Commission proposal, it believes that past and current experiences with the management of the Covid-19 pandemic and other high impact risks need to be objectively analysed and taken into account in the review of the current mechanism. At the same time, negotiations on the proposals regarding the financial envelope for the period 2021-2027 need to be concluded quickly to ensure their entry into force by 1 January 2021.

Therefore, the Council has prioritised its position on the articles included in the current mandate so as to be able to start negotiations with the European Parliament, while at the same time remaining committed to continuing discussions on the rest of the provisions with a view to reaching an agreement on a full negotiating mandate as soon as possible.