The European Commission has recently given its final technical and financial approval of the EUROWA project, marking the completion of an important first stage in developing international oiled wildlife response capability in Europe. Capacity to assist an affected country in response to oiled wildlife was created during the EUROWA project (2015-16) and consists of a team of oiled wildlife response experts and equipment that can be mobilised internationally in Europe via the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
The services of the experts wthin the EUROWA network is underpinned by a system of MoUs between Sea Alarm as the coordinator and each organisation which signs up to the EUROWA philosophy. That philosophy is based on mutual respect and trust, cooperation on joint international response activities and a collective process of creating tools, guidelines and training materials which improve the ability of the group to respond and to pass knowledge onto local responders.
With this milestone of EC project approval now having been reached, Sea Alarm (as the coordinator of the EUROWA network) are starting the process together with the EC and Belgian authorities, of determining how EUROWA can be formally recognised and integrated into the European Union emergency response system. Sea Alarm are preparing for discussions with the European Commission and Belgian authorities to explore how this capacity can be formally recognised and made available to European Member States.