To boost ties in civil protection and disaster risk management, the European Commission and Tunisia signed an administrative arrangement at this year’s European Civil Protection Forum in Brussels.

The document outlines key areas of cooperation on disaster prevention, preparedness and response on issues such as forest fires, floods, and search and rescue missions.

According to a European Commission press release, the signature of this arrangement is an important step in the reinforcement of the EU-Tunisia Privileged Partnership.

“Global challenges such as natural disasters require joint efforts and strong partnerships,” said European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. “The agreement is a win-win for both sides and will mean practical results for people during times of need. It is a tangible sign that EU cooperation with Tunisia is deep and strong. We are ready to support Tunisia as a key civil protection partner in our wider southern neighbourhood. This year’s EU Civil Protection Forum has been a great success and this is one of the concrete outcomes.”

Under the new arrangement, Tunisia will benefit from training for experts, the setting up of joint emergency response plans as well as closer cooperation with the EU’s Copernicus satellite system. The move is part of the EU’s increasing cooperation with Tunisia in a number of fields.