ITALY: In an immediate response, Croatia has offered 2 specialized Canadair planes that have been operating in the affected areas in northern Italy. The EU’s Copernicus satellite system has also been activated to provide mapping services for the local civil protection authorities. “The EU is here to help. Firefighting aircraft and our EU satellite mapping system are supporting the national civil protection authorities. I want to thank Croatia for its swift response to Italy’s request. Our thoughts are with all the people and the brave first responders working in the affected areas. This week I had the pleasure of meeting the head of the Italian Civil Protection department Mr Borelli and our co-operation with Italy is excellent,” said Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides.
The Commission’s 24/7 Emergency Response Co-ordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Italy and other natural disasters across Europe, including the flooding in northern and central Europe over recent days. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has now been activated 17 times since this summer by several countries across Europe for forest fires. The European Commission coordinates offers of assistance through the Civil Protection Mechanism and offers to co-finance related transport costs to countries offering support. President Juncker has tasked Commissioner Stylianides to put forward proposals this year to boost the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, following the many devastating natural disasters across Europe this past year. Photos and video stockshots of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a MEMO ‘Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works’.