In March 2019, rescEU was approved by the EU Council and the European Parliament, initiated by Commissioner DG ECHO (Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection), Cypriot Commissioner Chr. Stylianides. Of course, the original proposal has changed significantly, as it has provided the EU Commission with the means to mobilize where there is a need for assistance in an emergency of a Member State or a third country.
The proposal, which was finally adopted, concerns the acquisition of funds by Member States, with up to 90% co-financing by the Commission itself. The purpose of the whole arrangement is to respond promptly to disasters when the Civil Protection Mechanism’s means are unable to be mobilized either due to other disasters or due to damage of equipment/tools. The Mechanism will then be able to mobilize the means acquired under rescEU. These means will be mobilized by the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States that own them.
RescEU is expected to respond to emergencies within the EU. Other Member States participating in the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (mainly neighbouring States or States that have applied for membership) are also participating. In order to mobilize in third countries, specific provisions such as having a large number of European citizens affected should be satisfied. The means to be acquired for rescEU relate primarily to aerial firefighting means, while means for mass medical incidents or for responding to Radiological, Biological, Chemical or Nuclear incidents are also being promoted.
RescEU takes into account the geographical distribution of the means, so as to ensure a uniform distribution of equipment in the EU as much as possible. RescEU’s capabilities will be gradually developed over the next few years.