Objective and mission of the GSCP – Civil Protection Operations Centre
The General Secretariat for Civil Protection (GSCP) is a subdivision of the Ministry of the Interior and was established pursuant to Article 4 paragraph 1 of the Law 2344/1995 (Greek Government Gazette A’ 212).
The GSCP’s mission is to design, plan, organize and coordinate actions regarding risk assessment, prevention, preparedness, information and response to natural, technological or other disasters or emergencies, to coordinate rehabilitation operation, to monitor the above actions and to inform the public on these issues. Moreover, it organizes and supervises the Civil Protection Volunteerism System. In the context of this mission, the Hellenic Fire Service is a subdivision and operational arm of the GSCP.
The GSCP exercises its powers set out in Article 6 of the Law 3013/2002 (Greek Government Gazette A’ 102) as currently in force, and within this framework it promotes the country’s relations with the European Union, international organizations and other respective bodies in the field of civil protection. The competence to request international assistance on behalf of our country belongs exclusively to the GSCP, pursuant to the Law 3013/2002 as currently in force including the amendment of the Article 27 paragraph 2 of the Law 3536/2007. Furthermore, the GSCP contributes to the good functioning of the Civil Protection Operations Centre (CPOC), which joined the Unified Operations Coordination Centre (UOCC) of the Hellenic Fire Service, pursuant to Article 68 of the Law 4249/2014 (Greek Government Gazette A’ 73). The organization, structure and functioning of the UOCC are referred to in the Ministerial Decision 29310 F.109.1/27-06-2014 (Greek Government Gazette 1869/B’/2014).
At the national level, the Civil Protection Operations Centre coordinates and manages the provision of resources to address emergencies, in order to strengthen the bodies operating in the field of short-term consequence management. The CPOC operates throughout the year, on a 24-hour basis, is staffed by officers and non-commissioned officers of the Armed Forces, the Hellenic Police, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Hellenic Fire Service and in case of an emergency is supported by specialized scientific staff, if necessary.
Besides, if the application of the Article 28 of the Ministerial Decision 29310 F.109.1/27-06-2014 is justified, and until the Articles 107 and 109 of the Law 4249/2014 are applied, the Emergency Planning & Response Directorate of the GSCP is the permanent scientific support mechanism of the UOCC and especially of FFCC and CPOP, in the management of civil protection incidents and the provision of the necessary expertise and scientific information during the transition period, as defined in paragraph 1, Article 119 of the Law 4249/2014.
The GSCP is connected to the European Response Coordination Centre-ERCC (DG ECHO-European Commission, Brussels; operating in the framework of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism-UCPM), through the electronic application CECIS.
The CPOC forms the operational contact point with the UCPM and through the CECIS application it receives information on disaster incidents worldwide, either monitored by the ERCC or for which the UCPM is activated.
In case of request for international assistance and after a request from a public authority (e.g. through the UCPM, international organizations or bilaterally), addressed either to Greece or to other countries, the CPOC applies the procedures for the sending and receiving of international assistance, in cooperation with the International Relations, Volunteerism-Training and Publications Directorate of the GSCP, in accordance with instructions of the Secretary General for Civil Protection.