PILOT PROJECT TO STEP UP COOPERATION BETWEEN MEMBER STATES ON COMBATING FOREST FIRES
CALL FOR PROPOSALS : Progetto pilota volto ad intensificare la cooperazione fra gli Stati membri nella lotta contro gli incendi boschivi
dr.ssa Valeria Tudisco (UE)
Events in recent years, in particular in summer 2007, have highlighted the scale of the risks in some Member States when major forest fires occur. In many cases, the Member States that have had to cope with such incidents have not been able to bring the situation under control until operational assistance has arrived from other Member States
In the resolution of 4 September 2007 on this summer's natural disasters, the European Parliament recognised the contribution made by the Civil Protection Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) to supporting and facilitating mobilisation and coordination of civil protection assistance during emergencies. It noted, however, that Member States' resources to combat forest fires, especially by aerial means, are limited and that it is not always possible for Member States to offer support to others when the resources are needed on their own territory. As a result, some Member States received less assistance than others and the EU as a whole failed to display sufficient solidarity. While responsibility for dealing with fires and organising help lies with the individual Member State concerned, the frequency and intensity of the fires that have devastated many Member States make it necessary to arrange for greater operational cooperation between Member States. The events of summer 2007 prove that the Member States' assistance was insufficient to ensure a rapid and adequate civil protection response to all the emergencies. The budgetary authority earmarked an amount of 3.5 million EUR in the budget of the European Union for 2008 aim to cover a Pilot Project to step up cooperation between Member States on combating forest fires. The projects co-funded in this framework should take into account the European Parliament resolutions on the natural disasters in summer 2007 and on stepping up the Union’s disaster response capacity and also Commission Communication COM(2008)130 on reinforcing the Union’s disaster response capacity.
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