Why does the EU invest in risk prevention?
- Cohesion policy: preventing risks
What specific investments are made?
- erosion and coastal protection;
- forest fires;
- storms, tsunamis, and risks associated to closed mines or industrial sites.
Tracking progress with cohesion policy risk prevention investments 2014-2020
With nearly 8 billion EUR from the EU budget for climate change adaptation and risk prevention and management, cohesion policy is one of the most important sources of funding in this area, and a major contribution to the Commission's rescEU initiative. Adding the national co-financing brings the total investment to close to 10 billion EUR.
Within the broad priorities a range of specific measures are prioritised
- Actions to improve the knowledge base for disaster risk management: flood plans, ICT tools, early warning systems, modelling, radars, video surveillance, etc.;
- Preparation and implementation of prevention strategies, action plans and guidelines, including at local level;
- Awareness-raising campaigns and training (e.g. on earthquake-proof construction skills);
- Disaster-proofing buildings and networks (e.g. earthquake-resilient schools);
- Flood prevention infrastructure: dykes, flood walls, storm water collectors, water basins, etc.;
- Management of land, forests and rivers to prevent risks managing river flows, water retention, remediation of slope instabilities, removal of combustible biomass in forests, coastline protection, reduction of soil-sealing, etc.;
- Ecosystem-based approaches to risk prevention: floodplains, afforestation, green infrastructure for water retention or run-off, green urban spaces, etc.
- Infrastructure for civil protection units: integrated rescue stations, coordination centres, etc.;
- Vehicles and equipment: rescue vehicles, fire engines, ice-breakers, helicopters, planes, temporary emergency accommodation, etc.;
- Reforestation after fires;
- Reconstruction of coastlines and ecosystems;
- Development of post-flood zones;
- Protective infrastructure and reconstruction after hurricanes in the outermost regions.
In practical terms, the following project examples demonstrate some of the actions financed.
- Western Attica (Greece) has serious flood problems. The Cohesion Fund financed an 80 million EUR flood protection project along the Eschatia river. This protects 134,000 local residents and their property from floods in the suburbs of Athens. It also created over 700 jobs and promoted urban regeneration in a low-income area. The construction of new flood defence structures stops floods now, and it will also allow for future development of areas upstream.
- Another project provided
increased flood protection to 1 million people along the Sarno River in
Campania (Italy), by combining monitoring, civil protection interventions
and environmental protection measures.
- In Spain the ERDF invested 2 million EUR to improve the defence centre against forest fires in Vélez-Blanco, Andalusia. The centre now covers 11 municipalities and 150,000 residents in a region at high risk of fire. A new heliport means better collaboration with other rescue services in the area. The project also links closely to parallel efforts in forest management, and training and awareness-raising.
- Countries work together
more, for better results: eight Member States across Europe can now detect
and handle forest fires more quickly, assess damage and regeneration
needs, and make the best use of information systems together, through the
‘European Forest Fire Monitoring using Information Systems’ (EFFMIS)
How to track the results
... protected from flood risks
...protected from fire risks
What about the future?
- ESIF Open Data Platform: cohesiondata.ec.europa.eu/theme/5
- Other project examples: ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/projects
- rescEU and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism: https://ec.europa.eu/echo/news/resceu-strengthened-eu-civil-protection-mechanism-enters-force_en
- EU Strategy on the adaptation to climate change (2013): ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/adaptation/what/documentation_en.htm
- EU Solidarity Fund: ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/solidarity-fund and this EUSF data story