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Renewed Civil Protection Mechanism approved by the EU Parliament

Renewed Civil Protection Mechanism approved by the EU Parliament
29 April 2021

On Tuesday, 27 April, the European Parliament accepted a consolidated legal framework for the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to make sure that the EU is better equipped to deal with future large-scale emergencies.

This framework was approved with 641 votes in favour, 44 against and 14 abstentions, meaning that the Civil Protection Mechanism will now be supplied with approximately €1.26 billion for the period of 2021-2027, a considerable increase compared to the €368.4 million allocated to it in the 2014-2020 EU budget. Additional to this is €2.05 billion, mobilised by the Recovery Plan for Europe to enforce further civil protection actions to respond to the impact of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mechanism now enables the European Commission to close the loopholes in transport and logistics and, in urgent cases and under certain conditions, to directly purchase the needed resources through ‘rescEU', which is the EU tool to help countries hit by disasters, by providing them with water-bombing aircraft, medical transport, medical equipment and field hospitals. The strengthened EU Civil Protection Mechanism will bring more resilience, improved coordination and more resources to tackle future large-scale emergencies.

The European Parliament’s approval comes after the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU reached an agreement with the Parliament’s negotiating team in February. At the time, Portugal’s internal affairs minister, Eduardo Cabrita, called the EU Civil Protection Mechanism a fundamental instrument of EU solidarity, which would provide critical assistance to Member States facing devastating fires, earthquakes and other disasters. After the European Parliament’s acceptance, the next step is for the Council of the EU to approve the reform of the Mechanism so that it can be implemented.

Image © European Parliament, 2020

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