Public Warning Systems

Public warning systems (PWS) alert and inform citizens that are threatened by a disaster to enable them to react, thereby reducing the overall impact of the hazard. In the European Electronic Communications Code (article 110) The European Commission has made mandatory for all EU member states to have a fully functioning PWS by June 2022. An efficient Public Warning System must alert the targeted population in a timely manner, while also providing them sufficient information in an understandable manner. Different types of communication systems currently exist (Location-based SMS and Cell Broadcast) and have uneven capabilities to fulfill all public warning requirements to effectively and efficiently reach the maximum of people at risk. In fact, the effectiveness of a public warning system as a whole might significantly improve by combining several technologies in a multi-channel approach.

What do we do?

PSCE has been closely following the development of the European Electronic Communication Code, its adoption in 2018, and its implications for members states. Through a close collaboration with the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and participation in numerous consultations, PSCE has contributed to shape PWS policy at EU level. 

From May to December 2019, PSCE conveyed a series of three training workshops to guide national authorities into implementing their own Public Warning Systems through a requirements-oriented approach. These workshops proved to be successful, providing a platform for discussion and exchanges on the experience and challenges encountered by national authorities (Belgium, Iceland, Finland, Romania) in developing and implementing their own PWS. In June 2020, PSCE conveyed the webinar  “Managing COVID-19: What were the challenges for European PPDR Organisations”, in which Koen De budt (Be-Alert) presented a use case on how Public Warning Systems can be used in the COVID-19 pandemic.