"Upgrading preventative and response measures to face catastrophes more effectively": this is the intended goal of the civil defence section that for some years has been trying to organise itself on a European scale with the support of the EU. That is the reason of today’s international forum in Brussels, where 500 people have come to "discuss how the EU countries may develop their resilience to catastrophes". Stavros Dimas, commissioner for the environment, explains: "Resilience does not only mean the ability to recover after a major catastrophe, it also means upgrading the ability to resist a catastrophe through planning". Points on the agenda include the availability of specific equipment and people, technological breakthroughs that may help fight natural catastrophes, the citizens’ involvement in rescue operations. "Every year Dimas explains thousands of people die and many more have their lives disrupted. Last year alone, about 20 million people across the world were forced to leave their homes after a catastrophe. Which demands a more effective action".