Subject: Cross-border cooperation projects in fire management
A fire burning since July 16 in Cap de Creus, in north-east Catalonia, was declared under control on July 18. It has burned a total of 415,61 hectares.
On July 16, the Catalan Government requested to the Spanish Government the activation of the collaboration protocol with France aiming to get immediate support from two large capacity water bombers, called Canadians, parked in Perpignan. The Spanish Government refused and prioritised sending air resources from Spain located much farther away.
According to experts”, had the water bombers based in Perpignan participated in the extinction tasks, the fire would have been under control much earlier, the surface burnt would have been substantially smaller, and populated areas would not have been put at risk.
1) What is the Commission’s opinion on the fact that Spain refused to activated cross-border cooperation?
2) Does the Commission believe that European decision-making processes should be modified so that European regions can directly activate a protocol such as “Cooperem” to act quickly in the event
of an uncontrolled fire?