Empowerment, beyond these many definitions, should be considered as a complex process that entails an increase in the skills, awareness, and involvement in the decision-making process of social actors. In short, an increase in their capacities to control their own environment and therefore to be active in such environment. Therefore, empowered people can contribute to the management of hazards at any stage (preparedness, response, recovery, and reconstruction). The empowerment process is conditioned by the cultural context both at the cognitive level (perceptions, etc.), and at the operational one, since local communities are not homogeneous. Therefore, it is vital for enhancing empowerment to be as open as possible, so that different points of view, sensibilities, and problems can be considered, as well as the resources of the different types of actors, taking into account gender, as well as generational, religious, ethnic, and other differences (OSCE 2008; 2009, for literature reference see original source document). At first sight, social and cultural diversity is a crucial point and should be considered in relation to the actual participation and empowerment of citizens.
Types of Actors Concerned: All types of actors, Local authorities, Active citizens, Entrepreneurs, Media, Government, National civil protection body, National research bodies, Red Cross, NGOs, Military, Law enforcement agencies, Healthcare and emergency services, European Civil Protection Mechanism, UN and other international organisations, Non-active citizens