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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article10 February 2023Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)

Commissioner Lenarčič travels to Spain as Emergency Response Coordination Centre awarded Gold Medal

4 duty officers seen from the back while looking at a wall of screens with maps and other information on it
© European Union, 2022 (photographer: Pierre-Yves Jortay)

The European Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is receiving today along with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) the Spanish Gold Medal of Merit for Civil Protection for their efforts to respond to the war in Ukraine. Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, is joining the Spanish Minister of Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, for the award ceremony in Madrid.

EU assistance to Ukraine is the largest, longest and most innovative EU civil protection operation ever. So far the EU has provided Ukraine with a lifeline of more than 82,000 tonnes of supplies worth more than half a billion euro.

In 2022, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated 106 times. However, one single activation from Ukraine involved 126 requests or updated requests for assistance, bringing the total to 232. This has doubled the number of requests compared to 2020 and 2021.

Commissioner Lenarčič and Minister Grande-Marlaska will also discuss plans for the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU later this year, the preparedness of the EU and Member States for future emergencies, with this week's adopted recommendations on Disaster Resilience Goals and the preparedness for the next fire season.

During his visit to Spain, the Commissioner will also meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, to discuss of common interest such as the relations between the EU and Latin American countries, in particular the upcoming conference on solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants, the situation in Afghanistan and humanitarian diplomacy.