Welcome to the second chapter on update on EU contribution to Crisis Management in 2017! As it is a common objective of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, we will focus today en increasing public awareness and preparedness for disaster.
Based on the need to raise public awareness and get citizens well preparedness to face disaster risk, a Presidency workshop took place in July 2017 in Tallinn to build bridges between the work done by Member States, the European Commission, the OECD and the United Nations within the Sendai Framework in the topic. The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union started from this question: do we have awareness and knowledge of disaster risks and self-resilience on an individual level? According to the Presidency, there is a need to focus on raising public disaster risk awareness and self-resilience because there are emerging trends the EU is facing (cyber threats, climate change, dependence on vital services for examples) and this is the responsibility of the Member States.
The key issue of the workshop was indeed how to improve synergies between activities carried out by Member States and what we can do at EU level to help Member States ensure better awareness-raising?
What are the key findings of the Presidency workshop?
There is not really a need for a more detailed regulation on raising public risk awareness and preparedness at the European level. What is missing is above all better information sharing on best practices and innovative solutions already used in the Member States. Actually, there are some awareness-raising projects, including EU-funding projects, and information about them are available. The remaining problem is that even experts sometimes don’t know about these projects and results.
The recommendations put forward are:
- Where risks are shared by several Member States, it could be worth exploring the added value of common messages. But there is no such need when the risks differ from Member States to Member States, because of the cultural and social differences.
- Exploring how to make better use of the existing tools and platforms, such as the DRMKC.
- Encourage beneficiaries to publish the main results of every project at the European level. The European Commission has a key role to play, in collecting, organising and distributing the results of EU-funded projects and, if possible, setting dedicated workshops to share information on the results of the finished projects.
Click here if you want to know more about the outcomes of the workshop !