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EU Join Forces To Fight Fire

  • January 8th, 2008
  • Posted by Sian Graham

greek-fire.jpgThe European Union is working to launch a multinational fire fighting force by the start of the Summer fire season – hoping to head-off a crisis like the devastating fires in Greece last year


The plan to strengthen the EU’s civil SOS infrastructure, which will include the medical aerial evacuation of disaster victims, was adopted by the Commission last month (20.12.07) and the 27 member states now have until May to signal their support for the new guidelines.

The planned rules allow for the creation of a new rapid response emergency force with readily deployable personnel and equipment.

A senior European Commission spokesperson said the plan was the result of two years spent working with member nations to resolve the issue but the decision ultimately rests with individual member states.

“There is no obligation for participation, however, there could even be joint modules featuring co-operation between member states, similar in many ways to the existing co-operation in fire fighting between France, Italy and Spain,” he told IAEM Europa.


In line with the proposal the emergencies budget, the EC Community Protection Mechanism allocation has tripled in the last year.

The annual budget will rise by stages to €30 million (A$50.5 million;, 7.1.08) by 2013 as part of a six year €200 million (A$336 million) initiative.

Not wanting to risk further damage to bushland and residences this summer, the European Parliament also is preparing to vote for additional budgetary resources targeted specifically at fire fighting.

“The added value with the new module approach is that, as well as a lot more resources going into community protection, it will also improve co-ordination, essentially through training, exercises, technical workshops where common procedures will be defined,” he said.


IAEM Europa, “Brussels seeks European mulitinational firefighting force”, 5.1.08. (6.1.08).

EU Politics Today, “Brussels seeks European mulitinational firefighting force”, 4.1.08. (6.1.08).