Tonin and Lenarčič address EU Civil Protection conference

Ljubljana/Brussels – Defence Minister Matej Tonin and Slovenia’s EU Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič hosted on Tuesday a virtual event on knowledge exchange and dialogue in civil protection and disaster management at the EU level, which accompanied the launch of the Knowledge Network online platform.

The platform will bring together existing programmes – training, exercises, existing experience, knowledge dissemination – and offer centralised access to all information relevant to civil protection, the Defence Ministry explained.

It will unite the fields of civil protection and disaster management – centres of excellence, universities and researchers, aiming to enable cooperation and the mutual sharing of knowledge to strengthen the EU’s capacity to deal with natural and other disasters at all stages, they added.

In his address at the conference, Minister Tonin said that the Covid-19 pandemic and other disasters that affected Europe in recent years reaffirmed the need to strengthen the EU’s resilience when confronting future crises.

“By bringing together various experts from different sectors and improving knowledge sharing, the Knowledge Network will contribute to more effective disaster risk management and consequently to a more resilient Europe,” said Tonin.

Lenarčič also highlighted the challenges ahead – “To face future crises, we need to get better at involving experts, policy makers and researchers in the actions of prevention, preparedness and response,” he wrote on Twitter.

Tonin also highlighted the contribution of the Knowledge Network to strengthening volunteering, as volunteers “will meet, share and nurture new generations of dedicated and well-trained members of the future European civil protection community”.