Commission announces Action Plan to increase defence capabilities and space connectivity

On February 22, the European Commission announced an Action Plan to increase the EU’s defence capabilities by boosting secure space connections and exploiting disruptive potential technologies. 

In particular, some of the targeted actions on the Action Plan focus specifically on drone technologies, space-based secure connectivity and space traffic management. Space and civil technologies, including cyber, quantum and artificial intelligence also feature in the EU executive plan of boosting Europe’s capabilities.  The Commission’s Action Plan will also cover measures to increase resilience across connectivity systems in case of cyber attacks.

Synergies with EU programmes

In a challenging international environment, where the EU needs to maintain its technological edge and support its industrial base, the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 (MFF) significantly scales up investment in technologies for defence or related civilian use, such as security, mobility, health, information management, cyber and space.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton explained during the press conference the EU’s intention to build synergies between existing EU programmes — Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, the Connecting Europe Facility, the Internal Security Fund, the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the Space programme —and instruments so that disruptive technologies can find a concrete use.

The increased size of these investments, delivered through a variety of EU programmes and instruments, presents opportunities for synergies that can avoid the risk of duplication and provide more user-friendly opportunities for financing, such as grants and public procurement, the Commission said. 

“The European Defence Fund gives a strong potential for synergies between innovation in space, defence and civil research and innovation. We need this for a number of critical technologies. This plan is a systematic and methodological approach to create synergies”, tweeted Vestager.


Join the workshop “People with Disabilities in Search & Rescue operations”

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PSCE is happy to announce the upcoming workshop “People with Disabilities in Search & Rescue operations” hosted by the EU project Search & Rescue, on 30 March from 9h50 until 12h. 

The workshop will provide a platform to discuss the framework on the rights of persons with disabilities but also their protection and social inclusion. 

This event will provide an exceptional opportunity to learn best practices to be further replicated across the public safety sector in Europe. 

You can register to our online event here

Ericsson and Everbridge join PSCE!

We are happy to announce that Ericsson and Everbridge have joined PSCE and have become part of our public safety community!

Ericsson and Everbridge will bring a lot of insights and expertise to feed into our debates and activities. We look forward to start working together and contribute to the development of critical mobile communications and to ensure that the public safety sector is up to any potential incident and challenge.

Council and Parliament agree on strengthening EU Civil Protection Mechanism

The Council presidency and European Parliament representatives reached a provisional agreement on a proposal to strengthen the EU civil protection mechanism, on 8 February.

The proposed new rules will allow the EU and the member states to be better prepared for natural and man made disasters and to respond faster when they strike, including in cases which affect a majority of member states simultaneously. The text also sets out the funding of the civil protection mechanism in the context of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027.

“The EU civil protection mechanism is an essential tool of EU solidarity. It has provided vital support for member states facing devastating fires, earthquakes and other disasters. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the challenges faced when many member states are in need of support simultaneously. The new rules will allow us to be even better prepared for similar situations in the future,” said Eduardo Cabrita, Portuguese Minister of Home Affairs.

In order to deploy crisis relief more swiftly, the Commission will be able to directly acquire, under specific conditions, the necessary resources under rescEU. 1.263 billion EUR will be allocated to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) under the 2021-2027 financing period, supplemented by 2.056 billion EUR from the EU Recovery Instrument, an overall budget that is roughly five times larger than the one available during the previous seven years. Parliament ensured that enough financial resources are allocated to the three pillars (prevention, preparedness and response to disasters) of the mechanism, ring-fencing prevention spending.

Workshop: People with Disabilities in Search & Rescue Operations

The Search & Rescue project is conveying a Workshop on “People with Disabilities in Search & Recue Operations” to take place online (Webex) on 30 March 2021 from 9h50 until 12H00 CET.

High level expert from relevant international organisations (IFRC, European Disability Forum) will provide an overview of existing disability-inclusive developments and initiatives in humanitarian and search and rescue operations. This will be complemented by a view from on-the-ground practitioners (Firefighter Corps) who will share their experience as well as guidelines on emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

More details on the workshop and registration on this page.