EU member states urged to prepare for biological, chemical attacks

As a result of a rise in terrorist attacks, European Union member states were recently urged to include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons attacks in their emergency response planning.

This decision came about after a November 8, 2010, meeting between EU justice and home affairs ministers, reports.

The ministers implored the EU states to integrate the response elements of police, rescue, intelligence, health and communication with CBRN risks to create new preventative plans. These plans would incorporate simulation exercises and information exchanged among EU states to solve problems at the EU level and to increase public awareness about potential risk.

The ministers said that public awareness must be raised so that people know the appropriate actions to take and that the member states had the first responsibility in protecting people against CBRN attacks, according to

Since 2002, the EU has taken several steps to respond to attacks of this nature, including a 2008 Europol program to develop a European CBRN database.

While some EU member states has specific response and preparedness plans to deal with attacks involving CBRN materials or terrorist threats, others had specific plans for nuclear or radiological risks, general emergency plans with all-hazard approaches, emergency plans to deal with CBRN threats or specific procedures to deal with CBRN material attacks, the EU ministers said, according to