(Brussels) During the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week (11-14 February), MEPs will vote on a draft law strengthening the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism “tested to its limits in 2017 and 2018 by forest fires, storms and floods”. The new legislation, informally agreed with the Council last December, “will help Member States – a statement explains – to respond faster and more effectively to natural and man-made disasters, by sharing civil protection assets more efficiently”. The draft law will also set up, upon Parliament’s request, a “RescEU” reserve of resources, such as “forest fire-fighting planes, high-capacity pumps, field hospitals and emergency medical teams” that the affected States may use to tackle the emergency. RescEU will step in when Member States do not have enough resources to respond to a disaster. The EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism is currently a voluntary system, through which the EU coordinates participating states’ voluntary contributions to a country that has requested assistance.