Project, process, network, platform; started in 2019, ongoing constantly reviewed and renewed milestones
Submitted by / EUSDR Priority Area(s): PA 5 Environmental Risks
Extending the cooperation and joint efforts of the countries in the Danube Region presents an opportunity for reaching a common understanding and for developing standards regarding the management of environmental risks. Developing recommendations for the involvement of civil protection organisations and fire and rescue services involved in disaster management would encourage standardised response activities.
The Disaster Management Working Group (DM-WG) was established in 2019 to concentrate on emergency response and preparedness elements of managing environmental risks which are within the scope of EUSDR PA 5.
- Provide a platform for cooperation between relevant stakeholders of the 14 Danube Region countries in the field of disaster management;
- Cooperate with International Commission for the Protection of Danube River (ICPDR) in all activities concerning water management to achieve good synergy and to contribute to their efforts from a disaster response viewpoint;
- Support the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) coordinated by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) in cross-border and regional level disaster management with the involvement of authorities and (volunteer) non-governmental organisations;
- Trigger discussions and activities concerning disaster preparedness and response elements in the management of environmental risks;
- Work on the development of recommendations for volunteer organisations involved in disaster response in the Danube Region;
- Focusing on the development and adaptation of “Minimum standards for civil protection organisations and fire and rescue services involved in international or cross-border disaster response in the Danube Region” at policy and at operational levels;
- Identify existing practices and procedures to minimise duplications.
Need and (expected) impact
Due to climate change, floods, droughts, wildfires and low-flow events, as well as water-scarcity situations and extreme storms, are likely to become more intense. In recent years, most notably in 2002, 2006, 2013 and in summer 2014, parts of the Danube River Basin were being affected by very strong or extreme flooding events. These events caused significant human and economic damage in the affected countries and communities.
There were significant damages caused by seasonal fires during the dry season, also the extreme weather conditions are causing hailstorms, damaging houses, and triggering flash floods in mountainous regions. Industrial accidents were also evident in the Region, while often the risk spots are connected to tailing management facilities and other industrial factories located close to the Danube or to the tributary of the river.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism and its new Decision (EU) 2019/420 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2019 and the Regulation (EU) 2021/836 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2021 (amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism) includes the importance of regional level disaster prevention and management, highlighting that their response capacities need to be appropriately involved in coordination and deployment activities. It should minimise overlaps and foster interoperability. “Such authorities can play an important preventive role and they are also the first to react in the aftermath of a disaster, together with their volunteers’ capacities” (Decision (EU) 2019/420 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2019).
“The role of regional and local authorities in disaster prevention and management is of great importance, and, where appropriate, their capacities are included in the activities carried out under Decision No 1313/2013/EU, with a view to minimising overlaps and fostering interoperability. There is therefore also a need for ongoing cooperation at local and regional levels across borders, with a view to developing common alert systems for rapid intervention prior to the activation of the Union Mechanism. Similarly, and having regard to national structures, it is important to acknowledge the need to provide technical training assistance to local communities to enhance their first response capacities where appropriate. It is also important to keep the public informed on initial response measures” (Regulation (EU) 2021/836 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2021).
“To improve resilience and planning for disaster prevention, preparedness and response, the Union should continue to advocate for investment in prevention of disasters across borders and sectors, and for comprehensive risk management approaches that underpin prevention and preparedness, taking into account a multi-hazard approach, an ecosystem-based approach and the likely impacts of climate change, in close cooperation with the relevant scientific communities, key economic operators, regional and local authorities and non-governmental organisations operating in the field, without prejudice to the established Union coordination mechanisms and competence of the Member States.“
Regional solutions specific to environmental risks and the involvement of volunteer non-governmental organisations and authorities are therefore needed.
Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia
- National-level governmental disaster management organisations
- National-level non-governmental organisations from the field of disaster management
- Research institutes and universities in the field of disaster risk reduction and climate change
- Municipalities, county-level councils
- Rescue organisations
- Water management organisations
Budget and Funding
- Horizon 2020, DAREnet, EUR 3.500.000
- EU (DG ECHO), DiMaND, EUR 341.608EU (DG ECHO), PROFOUND, EUR 631.954
- International Visegrad Fund, Wildfirex, EUR 26.980
- Western Balkan Green Centre, PREP-R, EUR 49.301.400
- INTERREG SKHU, RISKHUB, EUR 395.129
- DTP, WACOM, EUR 1.570.581
Zsolt Kelemen, email@example.com