A culture of civil defence is key to Europe’s resilience

Europe’s strategic turning point in reaction to the war in Ukraine has been, at least in public perception, dominated by the discussion on military budgets, rearmament, and more effective procurement and deployment of European military capabilities.

A changing pattern of European confrontation with Russia re-opened memories of the Cold War era. However, the debate omitted the crucial element of Western Europe’s defence architecture at the time – the civil component, usually termed civil or civic defence/security/protection (i.e., in Germany, “Zivilschutz” or “Protezione Civile” in Italy).

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