EU proposes €170 million budget for transitional firefighting fleet


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Following a record-breaking forest fire season in Europe, the European Commission has proposed €170 million from the EU budget to reinforce its rescEU ground and aerial assets, starting from the summer of 2023.

With this budget, the rescEU transitional fleet would have 22 planes, 4 helicopters and more prepositioned ground teams.

It also proposed that as of 2025 the fleet would be further reinforced through an accelerated procurement of airplanes and helicopters.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Due to climate change the number of regions affected by wildfires is increasing, going beyond the traditionally affected Mediterranean countries. The last summers have clearly shown that more firefighting assets are needed at EU-level.

“By building up our fleet of aerial means and ground forces, the EU will be able to ensure a prompt, flexible response, including in situations where fires are burning in multiple Member States at the same time.”

Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, said: “While the record-breaking forest fires this summer may have been overshadowed by other crises, today’s proposal to reinforce rescEU shows that the EU budget will continue to support those in need.

“European solidarity across EU Member States remains strong and we are ready to support this solidarity with financial means.”

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