European Civil Protection Mechanism
EU CIVIL PROTECTION MECHANISM: THE EUROPEAN RESPONSE TO EMERGENCIES
Whenever the magnitude of an emergency exceeds the capabilities of response in a country, the European Union Civil protection mechanism allows a coordinated assistance of the States that compose it.
The mechanism is intended to protect the citizens of the EU and to extend the solidarity outside the borders of Europe.
It can be activated for all types of disasters. From 2001 to 2017 it has been activated more than 250 times, in such dramatic situations as the emerging epidemic of the virus of the ebola in West Africa in 2014, the floods in the Western Balkans in 2014, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2015, the European crisis of the refugees in 2015 and 2016, the earthquake in Ecuador of 2016 or in Chile and Portugal forest fires in 2017.
Any country in the world, as well as the UN, its agencies and certain international organizations, can make requests for assistance through the mechanism of the Union's Civil protection.
In addition to the Member States of the European Union, are also Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.
The importance of the exercises and drills
To improve the management of disasters, from November 23, 2017, the European Commission proposed a new system to strengthen the response mechanism of civil protection in the EU, which is structured on two complementary pillars: increasing the capacity of response to disasters and the best preparation and further preventing the disaster.
Within this second pillar exercises of Civil protection to prepare teams able to react quickly and in a coordinated manner is essential when disasters occur. Exercises at European level, with the participation of several countries at the same time, contribute to improving cross-border cooperation in preparing for a disaster.
Each year, the General Direction of Humanitarian Assistance and Civil Protection of the European Commission (ECHO) finances a series of Civil Protection exercises to achieve this goal. Exercise EURIwaterex2018 is one of them.