EU committee calls for CBRN reaction mechanism

The European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee has recommended that a special European Crisis Reaction Mechanism should be set up to deal with chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear disasters that occur as a result of terrorist attacks or accidents.

According to the committee, the mechanism would allow the European Union to deploy civilian and military forces more quickly and would include the creation of a European Civil Protection Force.

The Civil Liberty Committee says that these changes to the EU would help improve detection, preparedness, prevention and response and that assistance and cooperation between the member states of the EU should be mandatory.

“The implications of carelessness and laxity know no borders,” EU parliament member Ana Gomes said. “Since CBRN disasters or attacks, while occurring in one member state, might affect lives, health and the environment in another or several European countries, as the toxic mud disaster in Hungary has recently shown. The review of the current EU CBRN Action Plan in line with the recommendations approved today is paramount to ensure the safety and security of all EU citizens against the grave risks that stem from a possible incident or terrorist attack with CBRN substances within the Union.”

The draft resolution, created by Gomes and adopted 47 votes to zero - with three abstentions - is a response to the EU CBRN Action Plan created by the Commission in June 2009 and implemented in July 2010. The full parliament will vote on the resolution during a plenary session in December in Strasbourg.