European Commission announces new initiative for natural disaster management


A new plan being put forward by the European Commission for managing natural disasters like the deadly flash floods that hit western Attica last week contains significant incentives for European Union member-states to strengthen their prevention and management systems.

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said on Thursday that beyond protecting citizens in the event of natural disasters, the RESCEU initiative is also aimed at “cultivating a European culture of prevention against the increasing phenomena brought on by climate change.”

The initiative foresees a reserve at the European level of civil protection capabilities such as firefighting aircraft, special water pumps, urban search-and-rescue teams, field hospitals and emergency medical teams to complement national assets.

The Commission will also provide significant funding for these assets to be developed and upgraded.