On 11 May 2017, the Directors General for the Civil Protection in the Baltic Sea Region met in Iceland for their 15th meeting. The meeting, organised by the Icelandic Presidency, was chaired by Hjálmar Björgvinsson, Superintendent at the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police.
The most important result of the meeting is an adoption of a historic Joint Position on Enhancing Cooperation in Civil Protection Area.
The Joint Position encourages all expert networks, working in the field of civil protection (such as the CBSS Civil Protection Network, the EUSBSR Policy Area Secure and all other relevant networks) to increase cooperation within the following priority areas:
1. Building a common societal security culture.
2. Combining national efforts in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
3. Strengthening cross-sectorial cooperation in CBRN(E) preparedness
4. Increasing involvement of the local authorities and civil society organisations
5. Seeking more funds for macro-regional civil security cooperation from a broad range of EU programmes.
6. Initiating projects as platforms for innovation and cooperation.
7. Making better exploitation and coordination of research and project results.
8. Developing demand-driven and well-tailored training and education.
The Directors General discussed challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the BSR. The general conclusion was reached that the SF can facilitate the cooperation between the international, national, and the local level, as well as between different sectors as the civil society, the private sector, and the academia. DGs agreed upon investigating how cooperation can be increased regarding disaster loss databases as well as on establishing most efficient institutional settings for disaster risk management.
Two PA Secure flagship projects – From Gaps to Caps and EVAPREM – also presented their activities and achieved results. DGs were provided with the information on the project FIRE-IN, which the main objective is to improve the national and European Fire & Rescue (F&R) capability development process by fostering innovation in this domain and promoting cutting edge solutions to recognised operational needs. The FIRE-IN consortium represents the whole Europe and will hold the kick-off meeting 22-24 May 2017. The BSR is represented by Civil Protection organisations from Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the CBSS Secretariat. The project is fully funded by Horizon 2020.
MSB, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, in the capacity of incoming CPN Presidency, invited the participants to participate in the upcoming Baltic Leadership Programme that will be held in November 2017 in Stockholm.
The meeting was concluded by the Presidency Bell Handover Ceremony. Mr. Hjálmar Björgvinsson, on behalf of The Icelandic Presidency in the CPN, handed over the Presidency Bell to Ms. Cecilia Looström (MSB), who received it on behalf of the upcoming Swedish Presidency.