Commission adopts action plan against bio and nuclear terrorism

The European Commission has adopted an action
plan to respond to potential threats of bio and nuclear
terrorism on Friday, 12 October. The US and European nations
are stepping up measures to counter bio-terrorism amidst
intelligence warnings that terrorists may be preparing to use
biochemical weapons in further attacks.

European Commissioner Margot Wallström responsible for
environment, presented a plan on European co-operation that
will contribute to the protection of citizens from
potential biochemical threats.

General directors for civil protection
of EU Member States, candidate countries and the European
Economic Area adopted a number of measures at an
extraordinary meeting in Knokke, Belgium, on 11 and 12
October:

  • Creation of a group of nuclear, biological and
    chemical experts on alert 24 hours per day and ready to
    assist any country that needs their help.
  • Strengthening of the current network of contact
    points to be available for assistance 24 hours per day,
    and connecting the national and EU structures with
    special telephone lines.
  • Better co-operation between agencies on national and
    EU level, in particular health services, to collect
    information on vaccines, antibiotics and hospital
    availability.
  • Setting up a system for systematic exchange of
    information on accidents or threats of terrorist
    attacks.
  • Setting up a Task Force of national experts to
    strengthen the Commission’s civil protection unit. A
    surveillance centre will be created within the Task
    Force.

The EU will also set up a training
programme to prepare the responsible personnel for
potential terrorist threats, especially for the use of
nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.

 

Another package of measures will be adopted at a conference
organised by the Belgian Presidency of the EU in the
beginning of December. This conference will prepare a
short, medium and long-term working programme to defend the
EU from threats of nuclear, biological and chemical
warfare.

The conclusions of this conference will
serve as a basis for a Commission-sponsored forum,
consisting of Member States experts, who will implement the
programme.

 

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