ECHO, ERCC and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism

IMG_5102ERCC (Emergency Response Coordination Center)

ERCC is a monitoring center. It could coordinate EU countries in case of crisis response operations. The ERCC is the evolution of the old MIC (Monitoring and Information Center).

The aim is to provide a unique coordination hub, able to manage different situations simultaneously.

Different ICT monitoring tools are used by the ERCC to acquire information, the most common are the GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System), the EFAS (European Flood Awareness System), the EFFIS (European Forest Fire Information System) and weather monitoring software.
IMG_5103The ERCC is also able to acquire specific information from COPERNICUS / GIO Emergency Management Service[1], in order to proficiently use geo-spatial data and imagery. And keep a constant contact with all the participating countries through CECIS (Common Emergency Communication and Information System), an operational web-based tool that enable interaction and exchange of data with all the UCPM States.


Through CECIS is possible to facilitate coordination, offering and accepting aids, or requesting deployments, or organizing logistic activities (transport facilitation…)


ERC (European Emergency Response Capacity)

IMG_4766Also named voluntary pool, the ERC includes assets coming from the EU countries, kept in an “on-call” status and coordinated by the Mechanism.

The assets under the voluntary pool are economically funded by the committing country. The EU will fund upgrade, training or certification costs and co-finance the transportation costs (to the deployment area, in case of intervention).

The most recent structure of the ERC is the European Medical Corps. It is a medical and public health group of assets contributing to the Global Health Emergency Workforce (WHO).

The Medical Corps is composed by MEDEVAC units (aerial and terrestrial), medical coordination and public health experts, emergency medical units and teams, other than laboratories and logistic support.


About nine countries are today supporting the European Medical Corps and ten countries committed 18 response units to the ERC.

The opportunities

EU civil protection means also opportunities. To countries, organizations, personnel, volunteers, other than private sector, university and research.

Opportunities can be divided in two groups: funding, support to personnel exchanges.


ECHO is the most common funding platform for civil protection related projects. Normally opens at least two calls for proposal each year, both during the first four months: “prevention & preparedness” and “Union Civil Protection Mechanism exercises”.

The prevention & preparedness projects call is going to close (the deadline is 14/03/2016). The exercise deadline just opened and the deadline for the submission of proposals is 20/05/2016.


Other EU funding opportunities are coming from EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency). EACEA is hosting the EU Aid Volunteers program[2]. Under the program there are two interesting possibilities:

  • the technical assistance and capacity building call
  • deployment

The first call will support organizations to undergo the certification mechanism, the second one is reserved to certificated organizations, and aims to deploy EUAV personnel overseas (out of EU28).


Exchange of experts

The exchange of experts in civil protection programme is funded by EU and managed by the  Technisches Hilfswerk (THW, the german civil protection response organization). The goal is to easy the secondment of civil protection experts into other country emergency management organizations.


The programme is open to all are active in civil protection activities, as professionals or volunteers and belong to organizations based in one of the UCPM States.


 For further information about the Mechanism, the Funding Opportunities and the EU Aid Volunteers certification process, please send an email to:


[1] the full name is Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Initial Operations Emergency Management Service / COPERNICUS. Is a on-demand satellite imagery and geo-spatial data service.
[2] EUAV initiative aims to identify and deploy at least 4000 EU volunteers, both for humanitarian aid and civil protection (mainly prevention or preparedness) activities. Further information can be found here:

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