Fires: Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs spokesman praises mechanism’s effectiveness

Fires: Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs spokesman praises mechanism’s effectiveness

“The solidarity mechanism” of the European Union “allows the needs of each Member State to be met as soon as a major disaster strikes,” explained Anne-Claire Legendre on Friday 12 August at 8:30 a.m. to franceinfo , spokesman for the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, while France receives reinforcements in planes and firefighters from seven European Union countries to fight the forest fires that are particularly ravaging the south-west of the country.

“Four Canadair will arrive from Italy and Greece, as well as two Swedish planes. Almost 400 civil protection personnel will come to reinforce the firefighters on the ground, but also from the satellite image of the Copernicus satellite. This mechanism is a sign of European solidarity in the face of very serious fires.”

If France has not asked for help sooner, it is because “we had the means to face the situation on the ground. But the solidarity mechanism was activated by the Prime Minister on Thursday and we are seeing the first means to help in Morbihan and Gironde to arrive”. , endorsed Anne-Claire Legendre.

The mobilization of European armed forces has existed since 2001, “it is a civil protection mechanism set up by the European Union and which is activated very regularly. In 2021 it was activated 112 times, notably during fires in Greece, floods in Belgium. This mechanism is extremely active and flexible, making it possible to respond to the needs of each Member State as soon as a major disaster occurs.”

In 2019, the European Union recognized the need to increase this aid. It has set up operational reserves specifically destined for the European Union. “Today there is a European reserve that is made available.” This is the case with Canadairs, which is pre-positioned in Greece and Italy and currently operates in France.

These fires are fueling the global warming debate. A European agreement provides for a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. “It’s a very strong commitment from the European Union, it’s not under threat,” despite the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, the return of coal-fired power plants in Germany, confirmed Anne-Claire Legendre.

During the French Presidency of the European Union, we supported a package that should allow us to achieve this goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, before becoming carbon neutral in 2050.

Anne Claire Legendre

at franceinfo

Even if the goals are shattered by the war in Ukraine, “decisions over the last few months have accelerated our exit strategy from carbon resources and our dependence on Russian hydrocarbons.”