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Eastern EU joins forces to shape regional spending - 18 January 2011: The 'new' member states in Central and Eastern Europe are working together to coordinate their views on the reform of the EU's Cohesion Policy for the next seven-year period (2014-2020). Daniel Braun, a deputy minister in the Czech government, spoke to EurActiv Czech Republic about the fruits of this close collaboration.

New Year message: 'Geriatric' EU needs 'vigorous' Turkey - 18 January 2011: Turkish leader Recep Tayip Erodgan has lambasted the EU as a spent force on the international stage in an angry statement aimed at unlocking accession talks.

Writing in an op-ed in the US magazine Newsweek on Monday (17 January) the Muslim leader said: "European labour markets and social-security systems are comatose. European economies are stagnant. European societies are near geriatric. Can Europe retain power and credibility in the new world order without addressing these issues?"

Kroes: Hungary's media law 'unsatisfactory' - 17 January 2011: Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for the digital agenda, told MEPs on Monday (17 January) that parts of Hungary's controversial media law are “unsatisfactory”, according to a preliminary investigation by the European Commission.

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Article 196 PDF Print E-mail

1. The Union shall encourage cooperation between Member States in order to improve the effectiveness of systems for preventing and protecting against natural or man-made disasters.

Union action shall aim to:

(a) support and complement Member States' action at national, regional and local level in risk prevention, in preparing their civil-protection personnel and in responding to natural or man-made disasters within the Union;

(b) promote swift, effective operational cooperation within the Union between national civil-protection services;

(c) promote consistency in international civil-protection work.

2. The European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure shall establish the measures necessary to help achieve the objectives referred to in paragraph 1, excluding any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States.