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.
- The Polish Atlas of Rains Intensities (PANDA) project is the first online, digital and comprehensive rainfall mapping system in Poland. It is designed to help develop urban storm water and drainage systems that better protect Polish towns, cities and their residents against the effects of heavy rainfall. Find out more.
- 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. Find out more
- The ADAPT project from the Interreg programme "Italy-France (Maritime)" will provide the Upper Tyrrhenian region with a joint action plan so that the region's cities become more resilient to the risks posed by floods, as well as other climate change-related phenomena. Like other urban areas, the cities in this region straddling both Italy and France are increasingly prone to flooding caused by sudden and intense rainfall. Over the past five years, the impact of the floods has caused more than EUR 1 billion worth of damage in the region. Approximately 1,760,000 people will benefit from the protection measures developed as part of the project. Find out more.
- Implemented in Sardinia, the S2IGI project aims to reduce the environmental and economic damage caused by forest fires. For this purpose, a software system to support tactical and strategic interventions for fire prevention and management and post-fire recovery operations is developed. It combines innovative data processing, images provided by new satellite technologies and accurate forecasts from meteorological models. The applications generate maps, which display information on ongoing fires, real-time fire propagation simulations, daily risk levels based on weather and vegetation, and the probability and intensity of fires under various meteorological scenarios. Find out more.
(NB the picture does not illustrate the S2IGI project's outcomes.)
- The project VOLRISKMAC strengthens capacities for the monitoring of volcanic activity, with the aim of improving the early warning system for volcanic eruptions and earthquake crisis, as well as the management of volcanic crises in Macaronesia. As a result of the project, monitoring networks for 10 active Macaronesian volcanoes will be strengthened, while 37 permanent volcano monitoring stations are being set up. In addition, five new portable volcano monitoring instruments have been acquired. Find out more.
- Cohesion Policy also supports the purchase of equipment and the design of contingency plans.
The Czech Republic has purchased 80 emergency response vehicles. Find out more.
In the border area between Romania and Bulgaria, there are now better joint emergency preparedness measures, with cross-border risk monitoring of hail, air pollution and floods (see ‘Joint risk monitoring during emergencies in the Danube border area’). Find out more.
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: Link
- rescEU and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism: Link
- EU Strategy on the adaptation to climate change (2013): Link