Romania has not asked for the activation of the EU civil protection mechanism up to now, EC spokesperson Ferran Tarradellas told Hotnews.ro. Authorities in Bucharest can request support from the EU's centre for emergency situations. The help would consist in technical aid, such as inflatable dams or electricity generators etc., which could be provided by the member states. Plus, specialists from EU member states could assist the Romanian authorities in their fight against floods.
"So far, Romania has not requested help from the EU's centre for emergency situations. Usually this occurs when a member state identifies a problem it cannot face on its own. For example, Poland requested large capacity pumps, while Hungary needed sacks with sand.", Tarradellas said.
Foods that affected 20 counties have been blamed so far for the loss of 22 human lives, damages to households and agricultural land. Over 12,000 persons have been evacuated.
The Information and Monitoring Centre from the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department is the operational centre of the European mechanism for civil protection. It runs like a command centre - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It helps EU member states to cope with disasters. It has got 31 connection points - one in each member state, plus one in Croatia, one in island, one on Lichtenstein and one in Norway. The states make human or material resources available.
Romania received the centre's help in 2008, both in regards to technical support and experts sent to the ground to help authorities. Usually, the aid does not involve money, with the exception of the case when a disaster causes damages costlier than 1.5% of the state's GDP.
Two months ago, Poland and Hungary activated the protection mechanism and Romania contributed by sending thousands of sacks of sand to Hungary.
Hotnews.ro asked the Romanian Government why no assistance was asked from the EU so far. Are we to assume that Romania can handle all floods on its own and does not need the material and human resources?
The Government's spokesperson Ioana Muntean did not have a reply at the moment when the news was being published, but said she was going to enquire her superiors.