Government Centre for Security (GCS) – pursuant to the Act of 26 April 2007 on Crisis Management – has specific tasks in relation to international cooperation. In accordance with the Art. 11, paragraph 2 (points 6, 7 and 8) of the Act the tasks of the Centre include:
- cooperation with the entities and organizational units of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union and other international organizations responsible for crisis management and critical infrastructure protection;
- organizing, conducting and coordination of crisis management trainings and exercises as well as participation in international exercises;
- cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
Director of the Government Centre for Security (or an authorized person) represents the Polish side on the annual plenary sessions of the Civil Emergency Planning Committee (CEPC).
CEPC directs the work of four specialized planning groups:
- Civil Protection Group (CPG);
- Industrial Resources and Communications Group (IRCSG);
- Joint Health, Agriculture and Food Group (JHAFG);
- Transport Group (TG).
Government Centre for Security delegates a representative to the CPG. Work in this group is focused on the issues related to civil protection and critical infrastructure protection in a variety of possible dangerous situations, including natural disasters or technical failures, the use of chemical, biological, radiological weapons as well as possible conflicts and crises. Such a wide scope of issues requires a systematic monitoring of various aspects of security. Currently, the supporting of the work of allied countries in improving the resilience to various types of threats is considered to be the most important task.
As far as the cooperation with NATO and other Member States is concerned, it is significant to highlight Crisis Management Exercises (CMX) which are conducted annually and are designed to practice Alliance crisis management procedures at the strategic political level. They involve civilian and military staffs in Allied capitals, at NATO Headquarters, and in both Strategic Commands. CMX exercises are carried out on the basis of the scenario of the hypothetical crisis situation. Government Centre for Security acts as the national coordinator of CMX.
What is equally important, Government Centre for Security performs the function of the contact point for the exchange of information within the NATO Crisis Response System (NCRS), which constitutes one of the key elements for a rapid and efficient functioning of the Alliance in a variety of situations and for supporting decision making. The main purpose for which the system was established and is being improved is to ensure a coordinated and coherent action by Member States in scope of preventing and responding to threats. NATO conducts such a policy and takes action in order for the crises to be prevented but at the same time makes preparations to respond effectively in a crisis situation.
Cooperation with the European Union
The statutory tasks of the Government Centre for Security are related to the basic areas of operation of the EU in the field of crisis management. These tasks include:
- ensuring the exchange of information within the system of crisis management between the EU and national crisis management centres in the Member States of the organization. Government Centre for Security is one of the national contact points ensuring rapid circulation of information in crisis situations within the framework of IPCR (The EU Integrated Political Crisis Response Arrangements) and CECIS (Common Emergency Communication and Information System) coordination procedures;
- cooperation with the EU and the Member States in the scope of protection of European critical infrastructures and exchange of experiences and best practices for the protection of national critical infrastructure. This takes place in the scope of the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP), pursuant to the Council directive 2008/114 / EC of 8 December 2008;
- cooperation with the relevant actors at national level in the process of developing opinions and positions of the Polish Government concerning the draft documents of the EU relating to crisis management.
Moreover, GSC participates in research projects, working groups, or expert teams of crisis management. Experts meetings in scope of risk assessment (e.g. Expert Meetings on Risk Assessment and Mapping for Disaster Management, Risk Management Capability Assessment Guidelines, Peer Review) are a good indication of this. Their main objective is to exchange experiences and good practices in the field of risk analysis and risk assessment in the Member States.
GCS monitors the work of:
- Working Party on Terrorism (WPT), in which the leading role lies with the Internal Security Agency;
- Civil Protection Committee (CPC), in which the leading role rests with the National Headquarters of the State Fire Service;
- Working Party on Civil Protection (PROCIV), in which the leading role lies with the National Headquarters of the State Fire Service;
- Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM), in which the leading role fulfill Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union in Brussels.
Government Centre for Security conducts bilateral cooperation with the entities responsible at the central level for crisis management in other countries. The neighbouring countries, in particular those that are members of the EU, are our key partners. From the crisis management point of view bilateral cooperation is particularly important due to the various areas of interaction. The focus of bilateral contacts is to exchange both information and experience in the area of crisis management, countermeasures of CBRN threats, civil protection, protection of critical infrastructure as well as training and exercises.
Government Centre for Security also develops cooperation with the United States Department of Homeland Security, the US Embassy and the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw in the scope of crisis management and critical infrastructure protection.