Ongoing preparation for the implementation of joint exercises between the operational protection and rescue forces of Serbia and Croatia

On 23.8.2017, the second joint meeting, of a total of three planned meetings, was held with the aim of drafting a study on a simulation exercise at the table and joint demonstration exercise for the representatives of Serbian and Croatian civil protection units. The implementation of both exercises is the result of the “Ever-moving border emergency response – EMBER” project, which is funded by the European Union, i.e. under the Cross-border Cooperation Programme implemented between Serbia and Croatia.

The meeting was attended by the project team members, as well as members of the working group gathering representatives of institutions involved in the Provincial Emergency Management Headquarters. The working group members discussed what was necessary to prepare for the successful implementation of the simulation and demonstration exercise. The simulation exercise is scheduled for the end of September, linking the two headquarters online, while a joint demonstration exercise will be held in Croatia in October.

The project partners from Vojvodina are the Provincial Government Secretariat, European Affairs Fund of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and Provincial Secretariat for Economy and Tourism. The partners from the Republic of Croatia are the Vukovar-Srijem County, Regional Development Agency HRAST Ltd, and the National Protection and Rescue Directorate through its Vukovar branch. The project involves the active participation of the representatives of several institutions that are important for the protection and rescue system, such as the PWMC “Vode Vojvodine”, Croatian Water Management Company “Hrvatske vode” Red Cross of Vojvodina, Red Cross of the Republic of Croatia, PE “Vojvodinašume”, and Mountain Rescue Service of Serbia. Moreover, a significant role in the project is by played municipalities both in Serbia and Croatia having faced floods in May 2014: Šid Municipality, Sremska Mitrovica Municipality, municipalities of Drenovciy, Gunja and Vrbanja in Vukovar-Srijem County.

The “Ever-moving border emergency response – EMBER” project, of the total value of EUR 1,028,169, is one of the successfully contracted ones in this programme, and is aimed at enhancing regional level cooperation through joint systems and approaches in response to flooding in the Sava River basin in the cross-border region. The EMBER project has resulted from the co-operation between the AP Vojvodina and Vukovar-Srijem County and foresees the procurement of equipment, joint field exercises of Serbian and Croatian civil protection units, as well as preparation of planning documents for emergency response.