The Euro-Mediterranean approach to disaster risk reduction, to ensure that authorities are better prepared for earthquakes, water scarcity, floods and wildfires was the main topic that dominated proceedings at the ARLEM annual meeting hosted by the President of the Regional Council of Sardinia Michele Pais. ECR President Marco Marsilio was also present in Alghero to share the vast experience of Abruzzo in preventing and reacting to natural disasters.
"Cooperation and solidarity are essential to share the burden of responsibility when disaster strikes. We helped victims of floods in Turkey and Libya by sending equipment. In Abruzzo, we have now created a civil and risk engineering course for civil protection planning" President Marsilio stressed while addressing the assembly.
Italian Minister for Civil Protection and Sea policies and former ECR CoR Member Nello Musumeci echoed this approach in his message to the participants. “We must look beyond the emergency approach and place more emphasis on prevention including the protection of people and property in the event of disasters. The Mediterranean area is particularly exposed to two risks: forest fires and earthquakes. We must promote a risk culture among our countries” the Minister stated.
President of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia and ECR Member, Christian Solinas, indicated why it is important to be active in dialogue with regional representative from the Middle East and North African countries: "Sardinia is in a position to be a strategic bridge creating new forms of cooperation. Cultural exchanges must become an instrument of peace: fundamental values for coexistence and economic development".
The meeting was also an opportunity to pay respect with a minute of silence to innocent civilian victims of the conflict in the Middle East.
"The meeting falls at a time of serious crisis that, unfortunately, involves some countries that are part of our assembly. Our thoughts can only go out to the innocent victims of the conflict, first and foremost the children, women and men seeking peace. Institutional meetings such as today's arise mainly to promote dialogue, economic and social development but, above all, peace between the shores of the Mediterranean" underlined Mr Pais.