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A Comisión Europea e os gobernos locais de Europa estreitan os lazos para loitar contra os desastres naturais

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article-2596811-0C3B718400000578-366_634x423The European Commission and regional and local authorities took the first steps towards a stronger alliance to counter natural disasters. The European Committee of the Regions’ (CoR) Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) held a debate on the role of local and regional authorities in disaster prevention and agreed, together with Commissioner Stylianides, that disaster management in Europe is a collective responsibility.

EU local and regional authorities and the European Commission agreed to work more closely together to develop quick and efficient protection strategies to cope with disasters. Hosted by José Luis Carneiro (PES), leader of Baião Town Council in Portugal and chairman of the NAT Commission together with Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides, the participants at the event ‘European Regions at the Forefront of Disaster Management?’ emphasized that this was the beginning of a much closer cooperation towards disaster prevention and management.

José Luis Carneiro said: “Europe needs to strengthen its system of individual and collective civil protection. There are increasingly more disasters that overwhelm local, regional and national capacities and we need better instruments of response so fewer lives are lost and less damage inflicted”. To mitigate and prepare for future natural disasters he called for an EU framework to improve collaboration and capacity building: “Disaster-risk reduction is everyone’s business. We all have a role to play: us at the local and regional level, in the national ministries and the European institutions.”

Commissioner Stylianides openly recognised that local and regional governments are usually at the forefront of disaster management and so their role was crucial, “especially in the first stages”. Being on the front line EU regions “need to work more closely together with neighbour regions to deliver efficient local solutions to the problem” Stylianides said. He added that disaster management “is not a choice, but the true meaning of European solidarity”. The Commissioner called for deepening the partnership with regions stating that, “Locally-driven solutions are crucial for lessening disaster risks. I want us to become more involved amongst local, regional, national and European partners in making our continent a safer place to be.”

Os participantes discutiron sobre novas oportunidades para que as cidades e rexións participen no Mecanismo de Protección Civil da UE – launched to enable coordinated assistance from the participating states to victims of disasters – and shared good practices. Mark Weinmeister (EPP), Secretary of State for Federal and European Affairs in Hessen and a member of the CoR, explained:  “In Germany tackling a disaster not a competition between the authorities – It is more about joined co-operation.”

He emphasised the important role of transport. “Regions might have the expertise and the necessary professionals, but it is equally important to be able to quickly bring this help to the affected areas”. Adam Banaszak (ECR), CoR rapporteur on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and member of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Regional Assembly in Poland, agreed and called on the EU institutions to give the regions greater support to coordinate the response to disasters.

Máis información

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  • Opinión do CDR sobre un mecanismo de protección civil da Unión (CoR 740/2012)
  • Axenda de eventos: Rexións europeas no primeiro plano da xestión de desastres

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