When a crisis occurs, it is the scale of the event, its expected consequences and the resources needed to get it under control that determine the most appropriate level of coordination. Depending on the level of coordination, called phase, a different administrative authority is responsible for crisis management :
Les différents types de phases
The municipal phase is initiated by the mayor provided that the harmful consequences of the emergency situation or the threat of such consequences are limited to the territory of the municipality. An additional condition for triggering this phase is that management of the emergency situation must be possible with the resources and reinforcements available to the municipality or which can normally be made available by other services or bodies, for example, reinforcement of the fire service or the police on the basis of monodisciplinary response plans or zonal agreements.
The provincial phase is initiated by the Senior Official for the Greater Brussels Urban Area when the emergency situation affects more than one municipality as well as on the basis of an assessment of the situation, taking into account the nature and impact of the event, changes in risk, significant needs in terms of resources to be employed and the possible specific nature of any measures to be taken.
The federal phase is triggered for events and crisis situations requiring national coordination or management, based, in particular, on the following assessment criteria :
- Two or more provinces or the entire national territory are affected;
- The resources to be put in place exceed those available to a provincial governor or, in Brussels, the Senior Official for the Greater Brussels Urban Area, in the context of his or her coordination mission;
- Threat or presence of numerous victims (injured, killed);
- Occurrence or threat of major effects on the environment or the food chain;
- Harm or threats of harm to the nation’s vital interests or the essential needs of the population;
- Need for implementation and coordination of different ministerial departments or federal agencies;
- General information is needed for the entire population.