EU countries could soon be provided with best practice guidance on how to deal with natural and man-made disasters.
The European Commission (EC) has this week published two packages of proposals that will aim to improve the strategy for dealing with events both outside and within the community.
It follows the discovery of an oil slick off the south coast of Ireland measuring between 4.5-5km and thought to be around 300 tonnes.
The oil slick was reported by the Coast Guard to be 30-40 miles off the coast on February 14th.
A new EU strategy could entail developing guidelines for hazard mapping and undertaking more training and awareness-raising.
Commenting on the EC proposals, European commissioner for the environment Stavros Dimas said: "Natural disasters are a growing threat for EU member states, and they are predicted to increase in frequency and magnitude over the coming years.
"We must do all we can in order to reduce their impact by being prepared as best as we can."
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