Federal Expert Center for Civil Security

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The Federal Expert Center for Civil Security is a service of the Belgian state with non-state management.

It is tasked with collecting, processing and making available specialist knowledge in matters of civil security , in particular so that the civil security emergency services can guarantee a better, uniform service.


Since the original text of the regulation on civil security - previously known as " civil protection " - dates from 1963, the legislation had to be adapted to the new challenges and risks of modern society. Against this background, a draft of the civil security reform was created.

The Ghislenghien disaster has strengthened all actors - firefighters, governors, the federal state and the associations of cities and municipalities - in their will to achieve a comprehensive reform of the system.

An important stage in this reform is the Law of May 15, 2007 on Civil Security, which constitutes the new general framework within which all implementing measures must fit. The cornerstone of this law is the creation of new bodies at the supra-local level, the so-called aid zones. These guarantee civil security orders from the fire and rescue stations. The law implements a basic principle that has been recommended by the Paulus Commission , the monitoring commission for the reform of civil security: every citizen has the right to the fastest possible, appropriate help. This means that the boundaries of the municipalities, provinces or regions should no longer represent an obstacle for the deployment of the relief services in the future.

The creation of the Federal Expert Center for Civil Security falls within the framework of this reform and was initiated by the auxiliary services.

It was decided to create a specific structure for the Federal Public Service of the Interior, which, however, has the necessary autonomy by granting the status of a civil service with separate management.

The creation of the center of expertise is intended to enable the collection and processing of information on civil security with a view to improving the quality of aid. The center will benefit from the expertise of people working on site, in particular through the fact that operational members deployed from auxiliary services participate in the work of the center.

The center of expertise was created under the law of January 22nd, 2007 and the Royal Decree of March 28th, 2007, which set out the implementing regulations. On June 10th, 2008, the Minister of the Interior , Patrick Dewael , officially established the center.


The specialist center is entrusted with the following tasks, as set out in Article 3 of the Royal Decree of March 28, 2007:

  • Creation of technical guidelines and deployment procedures for the aid zones,
  • Training of the personnel of the civil security emergency services,
  • Collection and analysis of statistical data from the areas of assistance,
  • Reviewing and evaluating incidents to learn lessons from them,
  • Creation of a documentation center on civil security,
  • Development and expansion of specialist knowledge and know-how in the various civil security emergency services,
  • Conducting or ordering studies on the basis of the information collected or made available to support civil security policy and improve the quality of civil security emergency services,
  • Formulation of strategic advice for the minister, at his request or on his own initiative,
  • Disseminating knowledge and making information available to the minister, provincial governors, governor of the Brussels-Capital Region , mayors and civil security administrative and operational services,
  • Development of a competence network of experts and specialists from home and abroad, including from the administrations, the emergency services, the universities and the other associations and organizations concerned,
  • Participation in investigations and studies on civil security carried out by other public institutions,
  • In the event of an emergency, as mentioned in the Royal Decree of February 16, 2006 on the emergency response plans, support the intervening emergency services by providing information and expertise.


The specialist center is composed of the following bodies:

  • The executive committee: it determines the mandate, the composition and the working methods of the center.
  • The administrative office: it takes care of the day-to-day administrative and financial management of the specialist center, draws up an action plan in close cooperation with the technical and scientific group and ensures the follow-up.
  • The technical and scientific group: It is made up of experts appointed on the basis of their specialist knowledge in matters of civil security. In carrying out their duties, they report to the general director of the specialist center.

Legal bases

  • Law of January 22, 2007 on the creation of the Federal Expert Center for Civil Security (BS of February 21, 2007; German translation: BS of May 27, 2007) [1]
  • Royal Decree of March 28, 2007 on a Federal Expert Center for Civil Security (BS of April 13, 2007) [2]
  • Title VIII (Art. 175) of the Law of May 15, 2007 on Civil Security (BS of July 31, 2007; German translation: BS of June 25, 2008) [3]


The specialist center is located in the city ​​of Brussels (Rue de Louvain / Leuvenseweg).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jump up ↑ Disaster on July 30, 2004 that caused 24 deaths and around 100 injuries due to a leak in a natural gas pipeline in the industrial zone of Ath. It is the most momentous industrial disaster in Belgium since the Bois-du-Cazier disaster in 1956
  2. The report of this commission can be viewed at http://www.uvcw.be/no_index/police/reforme-incendie.pdf . Visited the website on June 30, 2008.