EU activates Civil Protection mechanism to evacuate Europeans from Libya

In the evening of 23 February, the Presidency of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to support the evacuation of EU citizens from Libya. As highlighted by Commissioner Georgieva, responsible for Crisis Response, it is EU's responsibility to evacuate from Libya the thousands of EU citizens who are struggling get out of the country under extremely difficult circumstances.

Through the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) all countries participating in EU Civil Protection Mechanism have been notified of the possibility closer cooperation on evacuation operations of EU citizens in Libya at EU level. This operation, as reported by Commissioner Georgieva, has been designed under a spirit of solidarity in an unprecedented crisis, in order to speed up the return to safety of Europeans in Libya.

The MIC will help with identifying and facilitating the deployment of assets for evacuation, including by sea, focusing on the area around Benghazi and other parts of Libya.

European Civil Protection Mechanism

The European Civil Protection Mechanism, which gathers means from all 27 Member states as well as Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, facilitates cooperation in disaster response. Through the Mechanism, they pool those resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries.

When activated, the Mechanism ensures the coordination of assistance interventions inside and outside the European Union. Such activities are coordinated by the European Commission through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC). Since its creation in 2001, the Mechanism has been activated for disasters in Member States such as the forest fires in Southern Europe in 2009, but also worldwide, including recent actions in the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.