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EU Institutions today reached an agreement on a mechanism that will save lives in the EU

"The agreement we reached today will be instrumental in saving lives and reducing the devastation of natural and man-made disasters in the EU", said Elisabetta Gardini MEP, European Parliament negotiator of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism dossier. She warmly welcomed the agreement reached between the European Commission, Member States and European Parliament this afternoon.

"I am particularly proud that we managed to adopt this deal fast enough to be ready for the next fire season. This was simply too important to wait", she added.

Gardini stressed that the European Parliament improved an original proposal, making sure the mechanism will get sufficient funding to be operational, while at the same time guaranteeing that those Member States who do not wish to participate in the scheme, will not be penalised. "With some €205 million extra for the 2019-2020 period, the EU is putting its money where its mouth is", she commented.

"The EPP Group has successfully managed to ensure that this additional funding will not cause any cuts in growth, youth, cohesion and employment programmes", added José Manuel Fernandes MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Budgets Committee.

The renewed EU Civil Protection Mechanism, already backed by the Parliament in May, will help Member States deal with natural and man-made disasters ranging from health emergencies, floods, fires, as well as terrorist attacks and chemical and nuclear threats.

A rescue pool of capacities, consisting of trained medical staff, field hospitals, airplanes, helicopters and similar, will be designed to be in place to use when the voluntary capacities of the Member States are not enough to respond to disasters in the Union.

The new mechanism, however, which relies heavily on cross-country cooperation and solidarity, will not replace the control and command pertinent to volunteer services at national and regional level. It will become operational at the end of April.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 218 Members from 28 Member States

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