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Parliamentary questions
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7 November 2018
E-004471/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Stylianides on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004471/2018

The 2018 forest fire season fire season has been another reminder of the serious threat that forest fires pose to the European Union’s citizens, environment and economy. This summer’s events confirmed that the risk of forest fires is no longer restricted to Southern Europe. Also countries in Northern and Eastern Europe can be confronted simultaneously with this type of risk.

The Commission proposal to strengthen the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU proposal(1)) adopted in November 2017 had as one of the key objectives to create a dedicated additional reserve of EU civil protection capacities, notably aerial forest firefighting capacities, in order to provide assistance when national capacities are insufficient in such situations.

The rescEU proposal is currently under discussion by the co-legislators. The Commission, in consultation with the Member States, is already considering the options available to operationalise the new provisions as soon as they are adopted.

The Commission takes good note of the proposal to organise a ‘Forest Fire Summit’ with relevant experts and stakeholders that could contribute to the definition of rescEU capacities.

The Commission would point out that there are already a number of fora involving Member States and stakeholders that are regularly organised by the Commission to exchange best practice, share assessments and coordinate the response to wildfires.

(1)COM(2017)772.

Last updated: 8 November 2018Legal notice