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EU Civil Protection Mechanism
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The EU Member States have agreed to assist each other when crisis or disaster strikes. Sweden has requested this assistance, activating the Civil Protection Mechanism, and is receiving help from several countries to fight the forest fires currently raging in Sweden. Assistance mobilisation has been coordinated through the European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).
In the event of a crisis, the affected country's emergency response authority can request assistance from the ERCC, which in turn communicates with the contact points of other EU Member States. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) is Sweden's emergency response authority, and can therefore request assistance from the ERCC. The MSB also receives all requests from the ERCC and regularly mediates Swedish support to other organisations working in countries affected by disasters and crises.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was established in 2001, and is able to provide support both within and outside the EU. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism provides potential support from all EU Member States' crisis mechanisms. Sweden received support from the ERCC during the forest fires in Västmanland County in 2014.
The MSB has requested assistance, activating the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, for the forest fires raging across Sweden in July 2018. This assistance includes planes, helicopters and firefighting personnel from the EU (Germany, Lithuania, Poland, France, Italy and Portugal).
Swedish rescue services and the MSB have joint operational responsibility for firefighting activities. They are continuously assessing the resources they may need to request from abroad. The MSB has requested even more aircraft and resources. Within the framework of Nordic cooperation, Norway, Denmark and Finland have been involved in the firefighting.