Published: Tue, 28 November 2023
In a significant stride towards enhancing pan-European fire safety efforts, Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, is pleased to announce the successful inclusion of his Preparatory Action on harmonization of fire statistics in the European Union (EU) budget. This initiative, building on the success of the EU FireStat Pilot Project, aims to address critical data gaps in fire safety and contribute to the overall well-being of EU citizens.
Kelly expressed his support, stating, “Fire safety is a paramount concern for all citizens, and reliable data is essential for effective policymaking. The EU FireStat Pilot Project laid a solid foundation, and this Preparatory Action will further our commitment to harmonizing fire statistics across the EU.”
The comprehensive package, including 46 pilot projects/preparatory actions (PP/PA), was approved with a total commitment of EUR 107.4 million. Kelly’s Preparatory Action specifically received 1.5 million euros to advance its objectives.
The initiative comes in response to a recognized data gap on fire safety and casualties, with fire fatalities constituting about 2% of accidental deaths in the EU. The lack of a standardized EU data collection methodology has hindered effective policymaking.
Krzysztof Biskup, Chair of the European Fire Safety Alliance, acknowledging the significance of the initiative, stated, “The EU FireStat Pilot Project has set the stage for a harmonized approach to fire statistics. This Preparatory Action is a crucial step in advancing this harmonization and ensuring the safety of EU citizens.”
The proposal for the Preparatory Action stems from the success of the EU FireStat Pilot Project, which mapped terminology, proposed common methodologies, and gained support from fire professionals and relevant authorities in at least 19 Member States.
Mr. Kelly emphasized, “The Preparatory Action will support the practical implementation of the EU FireStat methodology, paving the way for the complete roll-out at the EU level. It will contribute to identifying the best measures and policies to enhance the fire safety of EU citizens.”
The Preparatory Action will also support initiatives such as the Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) and the EU Civil Protection Knowledge Network, fostering collaboration and sharing best practices across EU Member States.
As the EU moves towards a harmonized approach for fire statistics, Kelly’s leadership in securing funding for this Preparatory Action marks a significant milestone in advancing pan-European fire safety efforts.
Kelly’s project also received cross party support from the following MEPs: Jan Olbrycht (PL EPP), Maria da Graça Carvalho (PT EPP), Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (FN S&D), Morten Petersen (DK RENEW), Tsvetelina Penkova (BL S&D), Carlos Zorrinho (PT S&D), Ciarán Cuffe (IE GREENS), Marisa Matias (PT, LEFT).
Mr. Kelly also highlighted in particular the work done by Jan Olbrycht and his team, who were pivotal in securing the budget allocation for the Preparatory Action during negotiations.