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Civil protection

Civil protection is the protection of people, the environment and property against all kinds of natural and man-made disasters. As well as the deployment of forces and equipment in response to an emergency, it also involves the planning and preparation for such events. This includes carrying out risk assessments and agreeing protection and rescue plans and procedures.

EU action in the area of civil protection is covered by Article 196 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and aims to:

  • support and complement EU countries’ actions at national, regional and local levels in risk prevention, in preparing their civil-protection personnel and jn responding to natural and man-made disasters;
  • promote swift, effective operational cooperation between national civil protection services; and
  • promote consistency in international civil protection work.

Under Article 222 of the TFEU (solidarity clause), if an EU country is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster and its authorities request help, the EU must come to its assistance by mobilising all instruments at its disposal. Coordination must be ensured in the Council.

The EU also assists non-EU countries in the event of all kinds of natural or man-made disasters.