The Union Civil Protection Mechanism (the Mechanism) seeks to strengthen cooperation between the EU and EU countries, and to facilitate coordination between them, in the field of civil protection.
It introduces a higher quality, more integrated and cost-efficient approach to EU disaster management.

The mechanism's main objective is to improve the effectiveness of systems for preventing, preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters of all kinds within and outside the EU. Although its focus is on protecting people, it also covers the environment and property, including natural heritage.

The mechanism's specific objectives are to:
- achieve a high level of protection against disasters by
- preventing or reducing their potential effects;
- fostering a culture of prevention and
- improving cooperation between the civil protection and other relevant services;
- enhance preparedness at both EU country and EU levels to respond to disasters;
- facilitate rapid and efficient response in the event of disasters or imminent disasters (almost certain to occur);
- increase public awareness and preparedness for disasters.

Disaster prevention is a major focus of the Mechanism with particular emphasis on risk assessment and risk management planning.

To enhance preparedness and response to disasters at EU level, the Mechanism sets up a 24/7 operational Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) managed by the European Commission in Brussels. The ERCC is a communication and coordination hub available to civil protection actors.

Additional tools include:
— the Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS), an IT tool allowing for immediate emergency communication among the participating countries;
— exercises and a training programme to improve EU countries' disaster response capacity and coordination of civil protection assistance;
— civil protection modules: units of personnel and equipment ready to mobilise;
— the European Emergency Response Capacity: a voluntary pool of pre-committed EU countries’ disaster response capacities, ready to mobilise for EU civil protection operations. This includes high-quality modules of relief teams, experts and equipment, and receives higher rates of EU co-financing.
Participation in the Mechanism and the various tools listed above is open to accession countries, candidate and potential candidate countries. The Mechanism has currently 33 participating countries (28 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

Budget: just over €368.4 million have been allocated for the implementation of the Union Mechanism for the 2014-20 period.

Reference information

Official Journal of the European Union

Published in Climate-ADAPT Sep 1, 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 12, 2023

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This translation is generated by eTranslation, a machine translation tool provided by the European Commission.