Official Journal of the European Union

C 10/1

Resolution of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘Natural disasters’

(2008/C 10/01)

At the meeting of its Bureau on 25 September 2007, the European Economic and Social Committee decided to express its shock at the fires that raged in Greece during August, and to affirm its solidarity with the victims and with civil society.

At its plenary session on 26 and 27 September (meeting of 26 September 2007), the European Economic and Social Committee adopted the following resolution nem con with 192 votes in favour and one abstention.

Following various natural disasters in several Member States, the Committee discussed the need for the existing European civil protection mechanism to be equipped with sufficient resources to carry out the task of coordinating intervention in disasters occurring both within and beyond Europe.

In the light of recent events, the Committee wishes to restate the position it adopted in opinion CESE 1491/2005 (NAT/283), and urges the Commission in particular to ensure that the Community Civil Protection Mechanism operates effectively, by taking the following specific steps:


Requiring all the Member States to comply with Community civil protection standards, by means of an appropriate legislative instrument.


Equipping the Community Mechanism with the following tools:

a satellite communications system,

dedicated assistance teams for the Mechanism,

a system for identifying available teams and equipment in the Union,

regionalised operational bases, with full coordination between them,

appropriate technical training for teams.


Adopting European legislation on civil and criminal liability, so that those causing such disasters can be prosecuted and punished.

Brussels, 26 September 2007.

The President

of the European Economic and Social Committee