Five years of RescEU: Strengthening Europe's response to disasters |
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Five years of RescEU: Strengthening Europe's response to disasters

Reflection on RescEU's impact and future challenges

This year marks the fifth anniversary of RescEU, an initiative by the European Commission that has strengthened disaster response mechanisms across Europe. Established to extend the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, RescEU embodies a deep commitment to protecting citizens from diverse disasters and managing emerging risks effectively. 

Since its launch in 2019, RescEU has served as a robust reserve of European capacities, fully funded by the EU. This includes a fleet of firefighting aircraft, medical evacuation planes, and critical medical supplies and field hospitals, ready to tackle health emergencies. Additionally, the reserve holds essential assets such as shelters, transport, logistics, and energy supply equipment, ensuring a well-rounded approach to disaster management. 

The significance of RescEU extends to its coverage of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) risks. This includes capabilities for decontamination, detection, and medical countermeasures, highlighting the EU's proactive preparedness for a range of threats. The unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russia highlighted the significance and adaptability of RescEU.  The mechanism was activated to address the medical needs of Ukrainians within the country and in the broader region. The EU has deployed medical evacuation services and provided assistance through its RescEU reserves which include medical supplies, energy resources and shelter materials located along various EU Member States. 

Open data plays a key role in enhancing the effectiveness of initiatives like RescEU. offers access to valuable European data supporting informed decision-making in crisis scenarios. This data can help in analysing trends, preparing for potential disasters, and coordinating responses across Member States, ensuring a timely and efficient approach to emergencies. 

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