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EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement
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20th Anniversary of the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement
20 years of co-operation to ensure better risk management

The European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement, better known under the name « EUR-OPA Major Hazards », has celebrated its 20th anniversary on 20 March 2007 on the occasion of the meeting of its Committee of Permanent Correspondents which took place at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 19-20 March 2007.  To mark this event, the Executive Secretariat of the Open Partial Agreement organised a special session on 20 March 2007, twenty years day for day after the adoption of the Agreement’s founding Resolution by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

This session was devoted to an assessment of the Agreement from its start to the present day and to looking at its future action in the light of the new challenges ahead.  Through the presentations from persons having been or still implicated in the field of major hazards, the session aims to:

- underline progress achieved and successful experiences : a retrospective look at the activities, strategies and work carried out since 1987 within the Agreement to gauge results with regard to setting up a real « risk culture »;

- acknowledge the constraints to be taken into account : analysis of the reins, (technical, legal, political) identified over the years as member States have been implementing recommendations emanating from the Agreement;

- identify future challenges :  highlight new phenomena able to significantly influence the way in which the Agreement may contribute to risk prevention in the European and Mediterranean space;

- propose recommendations for the future: identify promising channels to improve the impact of the Agreement’s work to implement a real strategy of disaster prevention at the level of the different decision-makers.

The meeting was open to all the Agreement’s present and future partners (national authorities, Council of Europe bodies, scientists ….) and aimed to allow the various participants to voice their opinion, in particular during the debate scheduled after the contributions from the various speakers.

Special Session to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA)


Ambassador, Permanent Representative of San Marino to the Council of Europe and Chair of the Ministers’ Deputies, Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

Walter SCHMIED, Chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Ian MICALLEF, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

Vladimir KAKUSHA, Vice Chair of the Agreement, Permanent Correspondent of the Russian Federation to the Agreement : Commmunication of the Statement to participants from Mr. S.K. SHOIGU, Minister and Mr Y.L. VOROBIEV, First Vice Minister, Ministry for Emergency Situations, EMERCOM of Russia

Salvino BUSUTTIL, President of the Malta Foundation, Valletta, Malta

Introductory statement by Rajae CHAFIL (Morocco) , Chair of the Committee of Permanent Correspondents of the European and Mediterrean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA)

Closing words by  Eladio FERNANDEZ-GALIANO, Executive Secretary

Welcome speech by  Marie-Christine WEYL, Town Councillor, City of Strasbourg

Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe