TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania on Friday joined the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, helping the tiny Western Balkan country to better cope with the consequences of climate change and natural disasters.
EU’s Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic and Albanian Defense Minister Niko Peleshi signed the agreement granting Albania full membership status.
in the EU’s disaster risk management system.
Albania has in the past had difficulty in coping with natural disasters including fires and earthquakes. EU Civil Protection Teams had assisted the country following its devastating Nov. 2019 earthquake and summer wildfires over the last three years.
As a full member, Albania will be able to utilize the EU’s disaster risk management system’s expertise, tools and resources to better cope with emergencies and offer assistance to other countries in need.
“By working together, we can significantly enhance our emergency preparedness and build a more resilient disaster management system in Europe,” said Lenarcic.
Albania and neighboring North Macedonia started membership negotiations with the EU in July, in a process expected to take years.