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Today, the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides opens the third meeting of the Civil Protection Directors General of the Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean, taking place in Barcelona. Working more closely in the field of civil protection with Mediterranean partners is important to prevent, prepare and respond to disasters more effectively. On this occasion, the Commissioner meets Ambassador Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, and visits the European Forest Institute. In light of the increasing numbers of natural disasters, such as forest fires, the EU recently established “rescEU” to upgrade the existing Union Civil Protection Mechanism. With rescEU, the EU will invest in developing a stronger collective response at European level as well as give more attention to prevention activities in order to better protect people facing natural and man-made disasters. (For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: +32 229 65322; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140)