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Program key data
Union Civil Protection Mechanism Funds
|Link to the program
Content of program
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism aims to put in place a reinforced and more ambitious crisis management system within the EU. It also aims to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of EU Member States in the prevention of, preparedness for, and response to disasters.
Civil protection assistance consists of governmental aid delivered in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. This emergency relief can take the form of in-kind assistance, deployment of specially-equipped teams, or assessment and coordination by experts sent to the field.
Disasters know no borders and a well-coordinated response at European level is necessary to avoid duplication of relief efforts and ensure that assistance meets the real needs of the affected region.
When a country is hit by a disaster, which overwhelms its response capacity, European countries can provide assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The Mechanism was established in 2001 to foster cooperation among national civil protection authorities across Europe. It enables a more rapid and effective response to emergencies by coordinating the delivery of civil protection teams and assets to the affected country and population.
Via the Mechanism, the European Commission supports and complements the prevention and preparedness efforts of participating states, focusing on areas where a joint European approach is more effective than separate national actions.
In this context each year, the European Commission publishes calls for proposals to fund activities aimed at promoting and encouraging cooperation in prevention, preparedness and awareness-raising activities in civil protection and marine pollution.
Following a request for assistance through the Mechanism, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) mobilises assistance or expertise. The ERCC monitors events around the globe 24/7 and ensures rapid deployment of emergency support through a direct link with national civil protection authorities. Specialised teams and equipment, such as firefighting planes, search and rescue and medical teams, can be mobilised at short notice for deployments inside and outside of Europe.
Any country in the world, but also the United Nations and its agencies or a relevant international organisation, can call on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for help. In 2022, the Mechanism was activated 106 times to respond to (i) war in Ukraine; (ii) wildfires in Europe; (iii) COVID-19 in Europe and worldwide; and (iv) floods in Pakistan. Additionally, Member States and participating states can also activate the Mechanism to seek assistance for consular support to their citizens (e.g., in the context of evacuation operations).
In 2019, the EU upgraded the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and created rescEU. The aim was to protect citizens from disasters and manage emerging risks. Fully financed by the EU, rescEU strengthens European preparedness for disasters and boosts the capacity to respond to crises in Europe. Such as wildfires, medical emergencies, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents, shelter needs, emergency transportation, and electricity supplies.
Prevention and preparedness activities mitigate the effects of disasters. A training programme for civil protection experts from EU Member States and participating states ensures compatibility and complementarity between intervention teams, while large-scale exercises train capacities for specific disasters each year. The EU supports and complements prevention and preparedness efforts of its Member States and participating states by focusing on areas where a joint European approach is more effective than separate national actions. These include risk assessments to identify the disaster risks across the EU, encouraging research to promote disaster resilience and reinforcing early warning tools.
|Regions / countries for funding
|Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT), EU Member States
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Island (Ísland), Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)
|Other, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), International organization, Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Education and training institution
Every year the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) publishes a number of calls for proposals concerning a range of relief and civil protection efforts. Normally, these projects require the collaboration of different EU member states.
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
|Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation, Disaster Prevention, Resilience, Risk Management, Justice, Safety & Security, Rural & Urban Development/Planning
|Relevance for EU Macro-Region
|EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
|UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
| UCPM Work Programme 2021-2027 (137kB)
|DG ECHO - UCPM