EU Commission to buy 12 firefighting aircraft, Greece among hosting countries

Europe
Tue, 26 Mar 2024 8:07 GMT
The European Commission will finance the purchase of 12 new firefighting plane for its rescEU mechanism, it said on Monday, with Greece being one of 6 host countries.
EU Commission to buy 12 firefighting aircraft, Greece among hosting countries

The European Commission will finance the purchase of 12 new firefighting plane for its rescEU mechanism, it said on Monday, with Greece being one of 6 host countries.

In a statement, the Commision said 600 million euros will be used to purchase new firefighting planes to increase the aerial firefighting capacity of rescEU, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism's strategic crisis response reserve. The new planes will be hosted by Greece, Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain for rescEU, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism's strategic crisis response reserve, and used across the EU, particularly for large fires during summer months. They will be delivered in 2027.

The announcement came as European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic participated in the signature ceremony of the agreement between the government of Croatia and the Canadian Commercial Corporation to purchase specialised firefighting aircraft. The meeting took place on Monday in Zagreb. Together with the signature of a similar agreement by the government of Greece recently, the purchase agreement marks an important step in increasing the aerial firefighting capacity in the EU, protecting EU citizens from disasters.

Five years ago, the European Commission upgraded the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and created rescEU to further protect citizens from disasters and manage emerging risks. Fully funded by the EU, rescEU was established as a reserve of European capacities, and it includes a fleet of firefighting planes and helicopters. In 2023 alone, rescEU was deployed 35 times for a total estimated value of € 110 million of assistance, including in the context of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, the earthquakes that hit Türkiye, and the wildfires in Tunisia and Greece.

On Sunday (March 24), Greece signed an agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation about the purchase of 7 medium amphibious aircraft. A similar agreement was signed with the Canadian company and Croatia on Monday. 

AMNA

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