Report to European Forum on Forward Looking Activities: Disruptive Emergencies
For this project, disruptive emergencies are defined as unplanned and non-routine events that have a significant consequence or impact on people, property and infrastructure, or could seriously damage the security of the EU. The impacts include harm to people (including psychological impacts), short or long term economic damage, and physical damage to property and the environment. Disruptive emergencies have been classified as either:
- Hazards - the results of nature or technical failure, including human error; or
- Threats - the results of terrorist or criminal activity (including state sponsored)
Disruptive emergencies do not include everyday occurrences, such as street crime.
The scope of the project includes emergencies that occur either within the EU (or are covered by the EU Civil Protection mechanism, such as the forest fires in 2007), or events outside the EU, that have a major impact within the EU, such as the potential break down of the energy system due to the decision to close nuclear plants as a result of Fukushima.
In undertaking this project I drew on my experience of undertaking FLA in the UK government and as a consultant; and experience of work on the preparedness for and resilience towards disruptive emergencies. This includes work on disruptive emergencies as part of the UK National Security programme (CONTEST) and the associated National Risk Register. I conducted desk research and interviewed a number of experts on the subject. I also took account of comments made following a presentation to the EFFLA Committee at the commencement of the project.
This report neither covers the provision of humanitarian assistance by the EU after emergencies; nor an assessment of future risks or an audit of the capability of DG Research and Innovation to respond to them.
There is lot of activity by Member States and the European Commission directed towards the anticipation of, preparedness for, response to and recovering from disruptive emergencies. The recommendations cover areas where DG Research and Innovation can contribute to these activities.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.