Disasters can strike anywhere, anytime. When a disaster occurs — whether natural or man made — the reaction must be swift. Sound disaster management saves lives, and effective coordination among different responders is critical to a successful response. The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) was established to promote swift and effective operational cooperation between national civil protection services, with an important role for the European Commission to facilitate coordination. We examined whether the Commission effectively facilitated such coordination through the UCPM during three recent international disasters: the floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014); the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa (2014-2016); and the Nepal earthquake (2015). We conclude that, since the beginning of 2014, the Commission has been broadly effective in its coordinating role. We make a number of recommendations to help further improve the functioning of the UCPM during the response phase.
Special report no 33/2016: Union Civil Protection Mechanism: the coordination of responses to disasters outside the EU has been broadly effective