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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article18 November 2022Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)

Albania joins the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Albania joins the EU Civil Protection Mechanism
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, and Minister of Defence of Albania, Niko Peleshi, today in Tirana.
© European Union, 2022

Today, Albania officially becomes a participating state in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism – the EU's disaster risk management system.

As a full member of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, Albania will not only be able to receive immediate support but can also send assistance to countries struck by a disaster through the Mechanism, leading to stronger and better coordinated crisis response in Europe and in the rest of the world.

Before joining as a fully-fledged member, Albania had already been supported by EU civil protection teams following the devastating earthquake in November 2019, and wildfires during the last 3 summers.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič is in Tirana to mark the occasion. There he met Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister of Defence Niko Peleshi. Together with Minister Peleshi, the Commissioner signed the agreement making Albania a member of the Mechanism.

Commissioner Lenarčič said: "Today I am proud to welcome Albania to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This step comes at a crucial time when natural hazards are more frequent, and more intense. A disaster can strike anywhere, and at any time and our crisis response systems must stand ready to withstand the consequences of climate change. I want to thank Albanian civil protection authorities for their determination and tireless efforts in bringing this important development into life. By working together, we can significantly enhance our emergency preparedness and build a more resilient disaster management system in Europe."


The EU Civil Protection Mechanism aims to strengthen cooperation between the EU countries and 8 Participating States (Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Türkiye, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and most recently Albania) on civil protection to improve prevention, preparedness, and response to disasters.

When an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country in Europe and beyond, it can request assistance through the Mechanism. The European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the disaster response worldwide. Since its inception in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has responded to more than 600 requests for assistance inside and outside the EU.

A joint approach further helps pool expertise and capacities of first responders, avoids duplication of relief efforts, and ensures that assistance meets the needs of those affected. Pooling together civil protection capacities and capabilities allows for a stronger and more coherent collective response.

The Mechanism also helps coordinate disaster preparedness and prevention activities of national authorities and contributes to the exchange of best practices. This facilitates the continuous development of higher common standards enabling teams to understand different approaches better and work interchangeably when a disaster strikes.