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Parliamentary question - E-006821/2016(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Stylianides on behalf of the Commission

The European Union has financed the development of Eurocodes, the European standards for the design of buildings and civil infrastructures, including Eurocode 8, which addresses seismic design and retrofit. The Commission supports Member States and engineering professionals in the implementation and use of Eurocodes through workshops and training courses, and disseminates training and education material[1].

EU-funded research contributes to the further improvement of the European standards and guidelines, for example the recent guidelines on pre-cast structures and on seismic strengthening of existing buildings. Funding for earthquake damage mitigation measures can be included under the Structural Funds (risk prevention priority).

The Commission supports Member States in their risk awareness, communication and education activities in order to enhance the ability of communities to cope and recover from disaster situations. For example, some prevention and preparedness projects financed by the Union Civil Protection Mechanism are specifically aimed at improving risk communication and hence risk awareness and structured knowledge in local communities, with particular attention to vulnerable individuals; examples include ‘Raising earthquake Awareness and Coping with Children's Emotions’ (RACCE, 2010), ‘Awareness of Disaster Prevention for vulnerable groups’ (ADAPT, 2014) and ‘Know your city reduce your seismic risk through non-structural elements’ (KnowRISK, 2015)[2].

The Commission is also working with Member States to exchange best practices on risk communication via the EU Exchange of Experts programme.