Editorial Advisory Panel Member Lina Kolesnikova represented CRJ at the Sixth European Civil Protection Forum earlier in March. Here, she provides a brief report on proceedings
Far left: Advisory Panel Member Paola Albrito, head of the UNISDR Regional Office for Europe, on one of the panels at the Forum
The 6th European Civil Protection Forum, organised under the central theme of Civil Protection in a Changing Risk Landscape, took place on March 5 and 6, 2018 in Brussels. The event gathered 900 representatives from the European civil protection community, countries of the European Neighbourhood, front-line responders, academia, international organisations, NGOs, and European institutions to discuss the current developments in the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) framework and put forward new ideas for tackling common challenges.
Alongside the Forum, an exhibition demonstrated innovative solutions and good practices supported by the UCPM and its participating states.
- The European Civil Protection Forum 2018 developed on four strategic pillars:
- Strengthening preparedness
- Simplifying response
- Scaling up prevention
- Fostering resilience in Europe's neighbourhood
This Forum took place at a particularly critical time for reflecting collectively on the current and future role of the UCPM, the European framework for co-operation among civil protection authorities. At the end of 2017, the European Commission adopted a new legislative proposal (currently under discussion at Council and European Parliament) with a view to strengthening the UCPM by boosting financial support to the existing voluntary pool, and establishing a dedicated reserve of operational capacities at Union level (rescEU) as well as reinforced preparedness and prevention measures.
At the opening ceremony the objectives of the European Civil Protection Forum were formulated. These were:
- Provide a platform for discussion with stakeholders on pressing police questions that are likely to shape the future development of UCPM;
- Serve as a sounding board for new ideas and developments in the sphere of civil protection and disaster risk management, including at EU level and with neighbouring countries beyond 2020; and
- Facilitate networking, mutual learning and co-operation within the European Civil protection community.
The Forum consisted of four policy pillars previously mentioned, which ran in parallel. Sessions covered the main issues emerging from the recent evaluation of the UCPM’s performance, as well as additional analytical work.