Minister Mikkonen to travel to Brussels for informal ministerial meeting on CBRN threats
On 30 May 2023, Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen will attend an informal meeting of EU civil preparedness ministers in Brussels on CBRN threats (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear). The coordination meeting was convened by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič and the Swedish Minister of Civil Defence Carl-Oskar Bohlin.
“Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has increased the threat of CBRN incidents. The ministerial meeting seeks to exchange information and outline how the EU's joint preparedness could be improved,” says Minister Mikkonen.
At the beginning of the year, the European Commission allocated a substantial amount of funding to Finland for the development of a CBRN reserve. The reserve, which will improve the EU’s preparedness as a whole, will include items such as personal protective equipment, measuring instruments, medicines and antidotes. The European Commission will make decisions on the use of the reserve stocks, and they will not replace Finland's own preparedness reserves.
The reserve project implementation has begun under the direction of the Ministry of the Interior and in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the National Emergency Supply Agency and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority. CBRN reserves are also being set up in France, Poland and Croatia. Of these, the project implemented in Finland is the first of its kind in Europe and the largest, with a budget of EUR 242 million. The project will run until September 2026.
Emergency Response Coordination Centre guides and coordinates assistance operations
On 30 May, Minister Mikkonen will also attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of the European Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) in Brussels. Operating under the European Commission, the ERCC directs and coordinates assistance operations carried out under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
If a country affected by a disaster or crisis cannot cope on its own, it can receive assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The Mechanism helps the EU ensure that assistance is delivered to the affected country systematically and that it reaches its destination.
Two major tasks currently occupying the ERCC are managing the delivery of assistance to Ukraine and maintaining a situation picture of the war. All civilian material assistance from Finland to Ukraine is delivered in cooperation with the ERCC through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Since the start of Russia's war of aggression, Finland has delivered to Ukraine more than 220 truckloads of civilian material assistance, such as rescue and healthcare supplies, emergency shelters and energy sector assistance. Finland’s assistance dispatched through the Mechanism also includes firefighting vehicles, ambulances and buses.
Pauliina Eskola, Director of International Affairs, Department for Rescue Services, tel. +358 295 488 263, [email protected]
Mikko Jalo, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Interior, tel. +358 50 304 8522, [email protected]