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PA Secure Steering Group meeting – better cooperation, more Flagships, new members

15-16 June 2017, the 7th Meeting of the PA Secure Steering Group, was held in Hamburg, Germany. During the meeting the state of play in the field of civil protection in the Baltic Sea Region was reviewed, as well as the status of projects and processes. Mr. Alexander Somoza, the representative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, emphasized Policy Area Secure significant contribution to the EUSBSR, and further highlighted that PA Secure exemplifies good cooperation regarding disaster management in the region. During its existence, the EUSBSR resulted in 120 Flagship projects, 10 of which were under PA Secure.

The member states, present at the meeting, agreed to nominate three projects for EUSBSR Flagship status: The ‘BALEX DELTA 2018’ exercise; ‘ECoHuCy – Enablement besides Constraints: Human Security and a Cyber Multi-Disciplinary Framework in the European High North’, and ‘FIRE-IN – Fire and Rescue Innovation Network.

In the light of the recent ‘Joint Position on Enhancing Cooperation in Civil Protection Area’ (adopted during the 15th meeting of Directors-General in the Civil Protection Network in Iceland, May 2017), the Steering Group presented their view on translating the document’s priority areas into a concrete set of actions. The participants stressed the growing need to involve new stakeholders in the work of PA Secure, and the decision was made to grant the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) Safe Cities Commission a full membership in the Steering Group, to diversify the cooperation at the local level.

Based on the discussions during the meeting, the Steering Group decided that cooperation with scientific institutions will be increased, and possibilities to establish a Civil Protection Scientific Network in the Baltic Sea Region will be further explored.

The host of the meeting, Mr. Jürgen Krempin, Head of the Department of International Cooperation at the Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service showed the participants how the city of Hamburg is prepared for the floods it suffers from each year, which gave the discussions a practical dimension.