Commission welcomes political agreement to strengthen the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Yesterday, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached an important political agreement to strengthen the EU Civil Protection system and response to natural and man-made disasters. Following a proposal by the Commission in June 2020, the reinforcement of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, including rescEU, will give the EU a more active and flexible role in supporting Member States during emergencies. In particular, the European Commission will, for the first time, be able to procure items directly at EU level, such as medical equipment and other emergency supplies. Previously, the Commission had to rely on Member States to procure such material. Additionally, as part of NextGenerationEU, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism will receive a significant budgetary boost for the upcoming years. This will strengthen the EU’s overall crisis response preparedness. On this occasion, Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “When a crisis strikes, the EU needs to be capable to offer an effective response. The coronavirus pandemic has shown that we need to increase our common European level of preparedness and response to disasters. I am grateful for the constructive cooperation the European Parliament has demonstrated, in particular to the rapporteur MEP Nikos Androulakis and to Portuguese State Secretary Patricia Gaspar for their leadership shown. With the upgraded EU Civil Protection Mechanism Europe will become more resilient, with more capacities in place, to face future common challenges.” As a next step, the European Parliament and the Council have to formally adopt the agreement to enable its entry into force