The European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) maintains and develops a comprehensive set of civil protection partnerships with members of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, other EU institutions, neighbouring countries, global partners, and international organisations.
EU Civil Protection Mechanism
All EU Member States and a number of other European countries have joined their national civil protection capacities under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The Mechanism is operated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) which organises and coordinates the delivery of EU civil protection teams and equipment to a disaster-stricken country.
The EU promotes an active neighbourhood policy through the European Neighbourhood Policy Framework (ENP) which aims for greater economic and political integration with countries bordering the Union.
The Eastern Partnership programme, within the ENP framework, extends the civil protection prevention, preparedness and response cooperation activities to Eastern Europe. Cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine aims not only to prevent, prepare and respond to disasters in these partner countries and the EU, but also to contribute to social and political stability. Climate change is also an issue covered in the cooperation undergoing in this partnership.
Civil protection is also the cooperation cornerstone of the Union for the Mediterranean. The Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters (PPRD) South programme aims to bring together Mediterranean Partner Countries and the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The programme beneficiaries are Mediterranean and Balkan countries.
The European Commission has signed agreements to improve cooperation and facilitate preparedness in emergency situations with a number of countries, namely Algeria, Australia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United States and Moldova. These agreements cover a wide range of topics, from information exchange during major emergencies to exchange of best practices on emergency management.
Picture: © European Union/ECHO/Panos Katsikopoulos