Margot Wallström, EU Environment and Disaster Protection Commissioner and the Directorate XI. organized the First European Civil Protection Forum on 28-29 November 2002 in Brussels where the representatives of the EU Commission and the candidate countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on disaster protection cooperation. On the Hungarian side Endre Juhász, Ambassador to the EU signed the document.

At the Plenary Session of the Forum, before more than 500 participants, Péter Rajcsányi, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Quick Relief Foundation delivered a presentation entitled "From Risk Assessment to practical Risk Reduction in Hungary". Heads and senior officials of the disaster management organizations of the Member States of the European Union, representatives of the organizations of the candidate countries, senior officials of the EU Commissions and several Directorates as well as representatives of civilian organizations and voluntary rescue services participated.

At plenary sessions and sections the participants oversaw the main elements of the developing European disaster protection system in a changing environment with regard to the increasing number of disasters and threats. Newly emerging threats (terrorism, epidemics, etc.) were dealt with in detail for the management of which new methods should also be established in the European region.

Commissioner Wallström and Ambassador Juhász signing the memorandum
[Download full size picture (190kB)]