Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-23-Speech-1-182"

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"Mr President, first I wish to thank the European Parliament and, in particular, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the rapporteur, Mr Papadimoulis, on drafting an exceptional report. The Commission proposal to recast the 2001 Council decision establishing a Community civil protection mechanism takes account of the demand by both the European Parliament and the Council for resources and facilities to be strengthened in the field of civil protection in Europe. Its objective is to strengthen the mechanism with the experience acquired from previous emergency situations. It provides a basis for the further development of cooperation in the field of civil protection by improving and strengthening the existing project in this sector and by launching new activities. We must highlight two innovations which we are proposing: funding for the cost of hiring equipment and of hiring transport means. We often face situations in which aid is available but there are no suitable means for taking it to the scene of the disaster. As a result, this aid either arrives late or does not arrive at all. In the case of emergencies which affect several European countries at once, such as, for example, forest fires in summer, floods in spring and possible simultaneous terrorist threats throughout Europe, the Member States may find it hard to provide help to other Member States, due to their own needs. That is why the Commission proposed that a safety net be created at Community level, so that we have the facility to hire the necessary transport means and equipment. The Commission, of course, knows that the European Parliament understands the importance of the benefit which will accrue from the reforms in question and expresses its thanks for the support which it has already given to the proposed new funding mechanism. As emphasised in the Barnier report, the result of the enhanced cooperation in the field of civil protection will be better protection, both for the citizens of the European Union and for the inhabitants of third countries. It will ensure that the Community as a whole can offer more coordinated and more effective and more prompt aid to any country affected by a major disaster. I should remind you here that the proposal to hire transport means and equipment was part of the proposal for the new funding mechanism on which Parliament formulated its opinion earlier this year. The negotiations which followed in the Council proved to be very difficult. That is why we are calling on all the members of the European Parliament who wish to advance this proposal to do what they can at national level to support it; otherwise we shall not be able to achieve the enhanced cooperation in the field of civil protection called for by Parliament."@en1

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