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European Commissioner Lenarčič: Slovenia is a humanitarian aid and civil protection superpower

On his first visit to his home country since his appointment, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič met leaders and participated in a round-table discussion entitled The EU and Crisis Management: Between Global Challenges and Domestic Solutions, which was prepared by the Commission Representation in Slovenia in conjunction with the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and the Euro-Atlantic Council of Slovenia.

European Crisis Management Commissioner Lenarčič speaks at a panel on crisis management

European Crisis Management Commissioner Lenarčič speaks at a panel on crisis management | Author Bor Slana, STA

In the course of the discussion, Commissioner Lenarčič expressed his expectation that in five years’ time the EU will be better prepared to provide humanitarian aid rapidly and effectively, while at the same time he hopes that as few people as possible will need it. Given the challenges of climate change, this may seem like wishful thinking, so it is nevertheless essential that we increase our readiness, he said.

In order to achieve better readiness of the EU in this field, his department will have eleven billion euros at its disposal in the next financial perspective, of which four billion euros is destined for the civil protection mechanism. The department has 900 staff, including those operating in 40 countries around the world where the EU provides humanitarian aid.

Commissioner Lenarčič described Slovenia as a humanitarian aid and civil protection superpower, saying that this is something we can be proud of and that can serve as a model to other countries. Slovenia tops the international classification in terms of the amount of humanitarian aid collected per capita. The same applies to the provision of civil protection, where Slovenia has the highest number of volunteer firefighters per capita.