On Wednesday the 27th of April, Director-General of the National Crisis Centre (NCCN) Bart Raeymaekers and Deanne Criswell, Administrator of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) signed a cooperation protocol in the presence of Minister of the Interior, Institutional Reform and Democratic Renewal Annelies Verlinden. This protocol establishes a reinforced cooperation and an exchange of experiences and best practices in order to improve the management of current and future crises.
The various crises that Belgium and the world have faced in the past few years have demonstrated the need for an optimal cooperation and mutual international support. With a view to enhance international cooperation, the Network of Directors-General of European Crisis Centres was set up in 2019 at Belgium's instigation. This network met physically for the first time in September 2021. The cooperation was validated with the signing of a cooperation protocol by 20 European countries.
Structural cooperation with the United States
At the initiative of the National Crisis Centre, a bilateral cooperation protocol was signed with its American counterpart FEMA on Wednesday the 27th of April, 2022. In addition to the exchange of experience and best practices, this protocol also provides an enhanced cooperation with a view to a rapid, coordinated and joint response to international crises. Last November, Minister Verlinden met Administrator Deanne Criswell during an official working visit to the United States.
Minister of the Interior, Institutional Reform and Democratic Renewal Annelies Verlinden : Lately, we are confronted with crises that extend within, but also beyond our borders. I think of the consequences of climate change and more recently the war in Ukraine. Together you are stronger than alone. Through structural cooperation with FEMA, the National Crisis Centre will be able to incorporate the experiences of a large country like the USA into emergency planning and crisis management. This can only benefit future crisis management. I would like to explicitly thank FEMA for this structural cooperation.