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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Helping the civil protection community connect, share, and grow

Imagine a network for civil protection and disaster risk management experts in Europe. What if that network allowed policymakers and researchers to share knowledge, experiences and good practices to better cope with future disasters?

Well, that network exists! It’s called the EU Civil Protection Knowledge Network, run by the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department. It is a growing community of civil protection experts with various initiatives – take a look at some!

2 people standing on a field surrounded by fire fighting trucks
© European Union (photo by Pavel Koubek)

The Knowledge Network connect experts, policymakers and researchers operating in civil protection and disaster risk management from the member and participating states in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

People working in civil protection and disaster risk management can benefit from an inclusive and needs-based network that is participatory and flexible to adapt to changing and emerging risks.

Who can be involved in the Knowledge Network?

Launched in December 2021, the Knowledge Network gathers civil protection and disaster risk management experts in a growing community.

Policymakers, practitioners and researchers will benefit from stronger ties between science and disaster management, increased access to guides and tools and networking opportunities to share and learn.

As it builds up, the Knowledge Network is focusing first on boosting well-known and successful existing activities like training, exercises and exchanges.

It will gradually introduce other initiatives such as an online platform, community events and additional exercises in challenging scenarios.

What does the Knowledge Network mean in practice?


Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “Live simulations provide a unique and much-needed opportunity for emergency personnel to come together to strengthen their preparedness for large-scale disasters.”

A team of firemen
A team from Germany in Greece during part of the 2022 forest firefighting season
© Lukas Gohl

Partnership and community building

The Knowledge Network provides spaces to bring together the civil protection and disaster management communities and collaborate on several themes. An example of this is wildfires and forest fires.

One of the Knowledge Network partnership projects is AFAN, which focuses on forest fires analysis through a European expert knowledge-sharing network - especially relevant during the forest fire season.

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Peer reviews & advisory missions

EU peer reviews on disaster risk management allow countries or regions to reflect on their readiness to cope with natural hazards and human-induced disasters.

On request from a national government or the United Nations, experts from EU member and participating states can go on prevention and preparedness advisory missions. They give tailor-made support and advice for a better response to disasters.


The Knowledge Network’s scientific activities are bringing closer the scientific community, policymakers and practitioners through innovation, partnership, and knowledge-sharing.

These science activities include valuable tools to identify risks and gaps in knowledge, and events to collaborate and network – e.g., a workshop where a research institute on wildfire modelling and firefighting staff train together to plan for a forest fire season.

Knowledge Network projects in the science and research field communicate research findings and support their use in an operational context.

How to find out more?

Visit the Knowledge Network platform.

Story by Letizia Storchi, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
Publication date: 12/09/2022