This area is covered by Protocol 31 to the EEA Agreement and falls under Subcommittee IV.
The Working Group on Civil Protection is responsible for handling and follow up legislation related to EEA EFTA participation in the Union Civil Protection Mechanism 2014-2020 (UCPM) and since 2019 also the rescEU which upgrades the UCPM. Read more about EEA EFTA participation in EU programmes.
In addition to the EU Member States, there are currently 6 Participating States to the Mechanism (Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey).
The overall objective of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism is to strengthen cooperation between the EU Member States and 6 Participating States in the field of civil protection, with a view to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism. The Mechanism supports major projects, workshops and training courses in the field of prevention, preparedness and response to natural disasters, both at land and at sea. It proved useful during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Iceland and Norway participate actively in the European Commission’s Civil Protection Committee.