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Civil Contingencies

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what role the EU will play in civil contingencies planning. [130796]

The EU is taking a leading role in facilitating multilateral emergency planning. Through the Committee for the Action Programme and for the Mechanism in the field of Civil Protection, the EU is establishing a Community mechanism to facilitate reinforced co-operation in civil protection assistance interventions.While the UK continues to retain national responsibility for its own contingency planning, there may be cases where the resources of one nation are unable to cope with the scale of a particular incident.In such exceptional circumstances we would expect the full co-operation of the member states and institutions of the European Union, including the Health and Safety Committee, in containing and resolving the situation. To this end the European Union's civil protection Monitoring and Information Centre would facilitate and co-ordinate any request for assistance from Member States.