Photo: Janez Lenarčič,

Europe and Canada have agreed to enhancing ties in civil protection and disaster risk management

01 December 2023

During the EU-Canada Summit, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau endorsed an Administrative Arrangement allowing closer cooperation on disaster response and emergency management. The EU and Canada will also share best practices to enhance prevention, preparedness, and coordination on natural and human-induced disasters including in third countries. In addition, the European Commission will finance the purchase 12 new Canadian built planes (Canadair) to increase the aerial firefighting capacity of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism strategic reserve (‘rescEU’). EU Member States have also ordered a further 12 planes.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The climate emergency is all too real. We must partner to better address natural disasters. This is why today we agreed to work more closely with Canada on risk management and response. And we are looking forward to strengthening our European fleet by adding Canadian firefighting planes.”

The Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission and the Emergency Management and Programs Branch (EMPB) of Public Safety Canada have signed an Administrative Arrangement concerning Cooperation in Emergency Management Activities. Both parties are committed to deepening their joint work on prevention, preparedness and response to disasters in key areas: information sharing on response and recovery, sharing of lessons learned, information on international outreach, public awareness and training, warning systems and capacity-building activities.

Whenever the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism enables coordinated assistance from its participating States. These include all EU Member States, as well 10 participating states in the Mechanism (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Türkiye, and Ukraine). Administrative arrangements signed with additional countries, such as Canada, formalise cooperation and thereby strengthen response to natural and man-made disasters.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management : “We have shown this June yet again, that our solidarity is truly global: France, Portugal and Spain have assisted by offering almost 300 firefighters through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to help Canadian authorities tackle wildfires. We welcome the signature of the Administrative Arrangement, which marks an important step to foster closer cooperation between the EU and Canada in civil protection and disaster management. At the same time, we look forward to a swift finalisation of the purchase of Canadian-built fire-fighting aircraft to bolster the EU’s and Member States’ fire-fighting air fleets so as to further strengthen preparedness for future wildfires.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *