What is it?
Europe is facing various cross-border risks simultaneously, such as climate change, pandemics, conflicts, and natural hazards.
To cope with the changing disaster risk landscape, the European Commission adopted a Recommendation and a Communication that establish common goals to boost disaster resilience in civil protection.
These goals are known as the ‘European Disaster Resilience Goals’. They include ways to better prepare European countries for natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods, and wildfires.
Why is this important?
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is at the forefront of Europe’s response to disasters and crises.
Demand for assistance has been particularly high in recent years. Between 2020 and 2022, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated over 320 times inside and outside the EU, including 104 by the Member States. This is 5 times more than the average of the previous 10 years.
The disaster resilience goals will help authorities across European countries to make better-informed decisions and protect citizens, livelihoods, and the environment.
The disaster resilience goals will enable full use of the tools available under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism:
- peer reviews
- technical and financial assistance
- science-based disaster scenarios
- a Knowledge Network to provide access to a wealth of best practices and experts.
How are we helping?
The European disaster resilience goals aim to improve the capacity of the EU, its Member States and participating states in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, to anticipate and withstand the effects of future major disasters and emergencies.
The European Commission, in close cooperation with Member States, identified 5 goals to pursue collectively, each with specific objectives and flagships:
To improve risk assessment, anticipation, and disaster risk management planning. The complexity and interdependency of risks the EU faces makes it important to identify vulnerabilities in critical sectors, and anticipate hazards and threats.
To increase risk awareness and preparedness of the population to reduce the impact of disasters.
To enhance early warning. This ensures that warning messages across the national, regional and local levels reach the right people on time.
To enhance the EU Civil Protection Mechanism response capacity. Through this, the EU can provide more help to fill critical gaps and avoid further deterioration of the situation when the capacity of a country is overwhelmed.
To ensure a robust civil protection system. Civil protection systems must remain operational 24/7, during and after disasters, when they are most needed. Further actions include updating business continuity plans and procedures and ensuring coordination and information sharing across sectors, including with critical infrastructure providers.