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Parliamentary questions
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16 January 2019
Answer given by Mr Stylianides on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-006044/2018

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) promotes cooperation between Member States in disaster response and serves a coordinating role, but civil protection as such is a national competence. National authorities may choose to involve amateur enthusiasts in disaster response, but this is not organised at Union level. Exercises focus on enhancing the interoperability of response actors, using the communication networks in the ‘affected country’ for the purpose of the exercise.

At the level of the European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), several different communication means are available at any given time, all of which have built-in redundancy. The Common Emergency Communication and Information System is our main, secure, emergency communication tool. It is a web-based alert and notification application enabling real-time exchange of information that links ERCC with UCPM Participating States.

For field operations, Technical Assistance Support Teams (TAST) and communication enabling modules can be deployed as part of the UCPM to establish communications, even in very difficult conditions. Four of these are already registered in the EU’s voluntary pool of assets, deployable at short notice in response to disasters. Exercises are organised for the TAST and the EUCP Teams every year to test various communications needs.

At the broader EU level, the Commission adopted on 6 June 2018 the legislative proposal for the EU Space Programme regulation COM(2018)0447, which includes a new component on secure governmental satellite communications (GOVSATCOM). The ERCC has been identified as a user given its coordinating role in field operations.

Last updated: 16 January 2019Legal notice