14th - 15th December 2017, Ispra, Italy
The Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) aims to promote a culture of prevention and preparedness, emphasising the development of capacities to deal with risk. To that end, Member States should share with the European Commission the results of their national risk assessments and of the assessment of their Risk Management Capability every three years. In order to support countries in the latter, the Risk Management Capability Assessment Guidelines (Commission Notice 2015/C 261/03) propose a flexible methodology to evaluate the administrative, technical and financial capacities of countries to carry out risk assessments and plan and implement risk prevention and preparedness measures.
Risk Management Capability is defined in these guidelines as "the ability of a Member State or its regions to reduce, adapt to or mitigate risks identified in its risk assessments to levels that are acceptable in that Member State". The broad scope of the guidelines facilitates a generic evaluation of the capability of the country to face risk as a first approach to understand which capabilities are in place and which are lacking. However, the methodology proposed does not go into detail how the results of the risk assessments are actually used in the evaluation of capabilities, limiting the use of it for the proposal of measure to face the potential events identified. Likewise, if the goal is to promote systems that are resilient, it is necessary to cover all the phases of the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) cycle, including response and recovery.
The use of capability assessment to link the results of the risk assessment with the definition of risk management actions is systematic for some countries such as the Netherlands, UK or Sweden, but not evident for other Member States. The guidelines have been tested several times already: the DG ECHO co-funded project "From Gaps to Caps" used them as a reference point to develop a common understanding of capability assessment methods for the Baltic Sea Region based on the use of scenarios, exercises and real experience; and the 2016 EU peer review of Estonia focused on risk management capability.