Earlier in February, MEPs approved plans to boost the EU’s emergency response, in order to enable member states to respond to emergencies and disasters in a quicker and more efficient way, whether they are recurrent or unexpected in nature.
Natural or man-made disasters can occur at any place, any time, and cause a significant human and financial loss every year. In 2017 alone, over 200 people were killed across Europe, and the cost of these natural disasters was estimated to be around €10 billion.
To have a more effective system in place, the European Parliament wants to create a new reserve of resources to be able to provide in an increased level of assistance in place. This resource will be known as RescEU.
But what exactly is RescEU? The aim is that these resources will only be used in the event that the aid that already exists in EU countries to cope with a disaster is deemed insufficient. The reserve would be able to provide additional resources to help EU countries cope, by providing support such as in the form of emergency medical teams, field hospitals, special water pumps or forest fire-fighting planes.
For a country to receive aid from RescEU, an agreement has to be made beforehand with the European Commission, in coordination with the requesting country, as well as the other Member States who are leasing, renting or own these resources outright.
Written by Mairead Finlay – Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She has studied Translation at the University of Geneva and holds a BA in Politics and French from the University of Bristol.