Bosnia and Herzegovina has officially joined the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism after the country’s Security Minister Selmo Cikotic signed an agreement with EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic Tuesday.
After signing the contract in the BiH Parliament, Cikotic said that by signing this agreement, BiH has the opportunity to use the benefits of EU membership.
“To receive support and help in terms of education, use elements in crisis situations of the EU. The protection and rescue system has made efforts to make it happen today. This process started in 2015 when we submitted a request to this Mechanism. A total of € 2.5 million were invested in the process of educating the Civil Protection personnel, which was completed in November last year. We can help others, but also receive help from others, we give and use resources. Membership will enable an adequate response to crises, when we exhaust our own capacities. The advantage of joining the mechanism is that we will pay only 30 percent of the membership fee in the next five years,” Cikotic said.
Lenarcic noted that the signing of this agreement is proof that it is possible to work quickly and efficiently when there is will and interest.
“The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is a symbol of solidarity and mutual assistance. Any country in the world can ask for help. BiH has done it several times, we remember the floods of 2014, but with this act, the membership, BiH becomes an equal state and can provide and receive aid whenever it wants. The future brings more and more accidents and disasters due to climate change. I'm afraid that there will be more and more of that, and that's why we have to strengthen the Mechanism, and the expansion of membership is very important”, said Lenarcic.