The European Council adopted conclusions on the need to strengthen the resilience of society as a whole in the context of civil protection, including preparedness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.
The landscape of the various threats in Europe has changed and become more complex. The preparedness of European societies in light of the various risks facing the population is essential, and there is a key role to play for civil protection to enhance the resilience of society.
In view of the increasing number of complex and long-lasting crises that Europe is facing, from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine or earthquakes, to the COVID-19 pandemic or forest fires, the resilience of the European Union needs to be increased. This requires a collective approach of the whole society and must involve civil society actors, citizens and the private sector.
The European Council invites the Member States to:
- Support prevention and preparedness actions by promoting the implementation of disaster resilience goals.
- Consider the subsequent development of public-private cooperation practices that improve civil protection activities in prevention, preparedness and response.
- Actively participate in new awareness and preparedness initiatives at the Union level that focus on preparing people for various crises or disasters.
- Provide and register enhanced capabilities relevant to CBRN in the European Civil Protection Pool (ECPP).
- Improve cooperation within the European Council to support the coordination of communication and information actions, both in preparation for and in response to possible CBRN incidents.
As for actions at the European Union level and to mitigate the CBRN threats it faces, the Member States ask the Commission to:
- Improve CBRN early warning capacity, ensuring a quick, effective and timely response.
- Explore possibilities to facilitate the procurement of CBRN equipment by Member States and identify ways to further reduce capability deployment times in case of CBRN incidents.
- Increase market access to different types of equipment, supplies and material relevant to CBRN by providing long-term purchasing predictability.
- Organize more regular civil protection CBRN training and exercises.