Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism, 23 November 2017

In November 2017, a proposal to amend Council Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) was tabled. According to the recently conducted Interim Evaluation of the UCPM, foreseen in Article 34 of Decision No 1313/2013/EU, in certain areas legislative change is warranted. Therefore the said proposal attempts to answer to this need and, building on the principles of solidarity and shared responsibility, aims to ensure that the European Union can provide a better crisis and emergency support to its citizens in Europe and beyond. Furthermore, it aims to strengthen the UCPM vis-à-vis disaster trends, including extreme weather, and against the background of internal security concerns.

Particularly, the changes contained in the proposal are aimed at achieving the following objectives:

a) Strengthening the effectiveness of prevention action as part of the disaster risk management cycle, as well as reinforcing links with other key EU policies acting in the field of disaster prevention and disaster response;

b) Reinforcing the European Union and Member States’ collective ability to respond to disasters, and addressing recurrent and emerging capacity gaps, especially with the creation of a dedicated reserve of response capacities at Union level, with decisions on deployment taken by the Commission, which retains command and control (to be known as rescEU).

c) Ensuring that the UCPM is agile and effective in its administrative procedures in support of emergency operations.