Draft law on civil protection and the state of natural disasters

Project presentation – a conference attended by the management of the Ministry of Interior and Administration

– “New procedures are being created so that the state can act decisively, effectively and bureaucratically in crisis situations. The aim is to provide protection and assistance to victims of various types of emergencies as quickly as possible” – said Minister Mariusz Kamiński. On Tuesday, June 14 this year. Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, Minister Mariusz Kamiński and Deputy Minister Maciej Wąsik presented details of the draft law on civil protection and the state of natural disasters.

During the conference, Minister Mariusz Kamiński recalled that the new procedures were created on the basis of crisis experiences related to the pandemic, the arrival of refugees from Ukraine or threats related to atmospheric situations such as fires, hurricanes and floods. He also stated that the draft law had been discussed during the meetings of the Committee of the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defence.

The head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration noted that the proposed law is an important addition to the adopted law on the defense of the homeland. – “The draft law on civil protection and the state of natural disasters focuses on issues related to crisis management, with the situation of the civilian population in extreme cases” – said the minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński referred to work on the bill. – “During the preparation of this law, we took into account the dangers that characterize the current difficult time, that is, what is happening in Ukraine and what has already happened on the Polish border with Belarus”, he explained.

The chairman of the Committee of the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defense recalled that the law must be applied in such a way that dangers can be identified as quickly as possible and adequately countered.

Structure and financing of the new system

The head of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration spoke about changes in the functioning of the Government Crisis Management Team (RZZK).

– “We want the government crisis management team to be a decision-making team in the most serious situations, to concentrate the decision-making and executive center in one place,” he announced.

Under the proposed regulations, RZZK will be headed by the Prime Minister and his deputy the Minister of the Interior. If the crisis situations cover a smaller area, action is taken by the Minister of the Interior and the Voivodes respectively.

Minister Mariusz Kamiński inquired about the establishment of the Population Protection Fund, which will finance civil protection tasks.

– “These funds are defined by law as 0.1 of our country’s GDP, which in the current reality means about PLN 3 billion. It will be a non-expiring fund, funds that are not used in a given year, be carried over to the next year. These are very important tools for effective operation,” he said.

Funds from the Fund will be distributed, half of them will be at the disposal of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, and the other half – to voivodes. They will include immediate relief activities (support to victims of natural disasters) and investments in security infrastructure.

As part of the Population Protection Fund, the money will also go to the State Medical Rescue System. Based on the resources of the volunteer fire brigade, a corps of paramedics (about 10,000 paramedics) will be established to assist the local communities. In a few years, more than 2.8 thousand jobs will be created. ambulances going to Polish municipalities.

Minister Mariusz Kamiński also announced that benefits to those affected by natural disasters will be increased. This amount goes up from 6 thousand. PLN to 10 thousand. zloty.

– “We are also increasing support for the reconstruction of houses and real estate, from PLN 200 thousand, as is the case now, to PLN 300 thousand. The money will be in the hands of the voivode” – emphasized the head of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Administration.

The law also provides for the introduction of mandatory first aid courses for high school students, led by lifeguards, and the modernization of the Emergency Notification System (number 112).

Experience-Based Solutions

Deputy Minister Maciej Wąsik emphasized that the prepared solutions are based on the experience of people who deal with crisis situations on a daily basis. It is about the experiences of voivodes, PSP, TSO and local government officials.

– “Using this law, we want to simplify the bureaucratic procedures. We abolish the obligation of crisis management plans from the national to the municipal level. Instead, we propose to create an IT system that makes an inventory of all resources for civilian protection. This will allow the assessment of the state of preparedness of a given region for a crisis situation.” – announced the deputy minister.

The Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Interior and Administration also said that the draft Civil Protection Act defines the states of state readiness. There are three states: state of emergency, state of emergency, and natural disaster.

Deputy Minister Maciej Wąsik also spoke about other changes included in the bill presented today. This includes transformation of the civil defense system during the war (“W” era) into a civil defense system and the establishment of the National Rescue System, which will replace the currently operating National Rescue and Fire Fighting System (KSRG).

The draft law on civil protection and the state of natural disasters was submitted to the list of legislative and program works of the Council of Ministers.

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