Today, Ukraine becomes a Participating State of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism – the European solidarity framework that helps countries overwhelmed by a disaster.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, is today in Kyiv to officially sign an agreement on behalf of the European Union granting Ukraine full membership of the Mechanism. During his visit, he will participate in the International Summit of Cities and Regions in Kyiv with President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy; Deputy Prime Minister, Olha Stefanishyna; Minister of Internal Affairs, Ihor Klymenko; and Head of Emergency Service, Serhiy Kruk. 

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has channelled emergency assistance to Ukraine from across Europe since the onset of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022. In its largest and longest running operation, more than 88,000 tonnes of life-saving equipment, food, and medicines, have been sent to Ukraine via the Mechanism. Most recently, more than 1,000 power generators fully financed by the EU were mobilised to Ukraine from the strategic rescEU energy reserves. Now, by being a full member, Ukraine will also be able to dispatch aid via the Mechanism at a time another country finds itself in a crisis. 

Today the EU is also allocating a further €55 million in humanitarian funding to Ukraine on top of the €145 million already provided earlier this year. This new humanitarian funding will focus on preparing for next winter. 


When an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country in Europe and beyond, it can request assistance through the Mechanism. The European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the disaster response worldwide. Since its inception in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated for more than 600 emergencies and crises inside and outside the EU. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism aims to strengthen cooperation between the 27 EU countries and now 9 Participating States (Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Türkiye, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and most recently Ukraine) on civil protection to improve prevention, preparedness, and response to disasters.

A joint approach further helps pool expertise and capacities of first responders, avoids duplication of relief efforts, and ensures that assistance meets the needs of those affected. Pooling together civil protection capacities and capabilities allows for a stronger and more coherent collective response.

The Mechanism also helps coordinate disaster preparedness and prevention activities of national authorities and contributes to the exchange of best practices. This facilitates the continuous development of higher common standards enabling teams to understand different approaches better and work interchangeably when a disaster strikes.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the EU has allocated in total of €685 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including today's €55 million top-up that has been requested by the European Commission and currently under adoption by the EU's Budgetary Authority. EU-funded humanitarian assistance is provided in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. It is delivered through the UN humanitarian agencies, non-governmental organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Photo by Shamil Khakirov from Ukraine, Wikimedia commons.