To The RescEU? Disaster Response As A Driver For European Integration
Type of content
The EU’s 2018 decision to strengthen its civil protection mechanism has been a long time in the making. Since the original Council resolution of 1987, the Union has incrementally expanded its role in the field of disaster response and planning. This expansion has been slow and, at times, painfully so, as states have regularly challenged the EU’s growing role in an area often seen as core member-state business. Nevertheless, the increasing inability of Member States to response to disasters, alongside changes in the political dynamics of the Union in the post-Brexit referendum environment, have allowed the EU to develop the foundations for a truly European response mechanism to disaster events (rescEU). This is all the more remarkable as this system has developed against a backdrop of retrenchment and crisis within the EU as a whole. This paper assesses the structure of this new model of positive EU co-operation in the context of EU integration. In particular, it asks whether the realities of increased risk from natural hazards is creating a new drive towards European co-operation and provides a new driver for European co-operation. Will disasters, ironically, rescEU the Union?