BACKGROUND

Flooding is the most common environmental hazard worldwide. This is due to the vast geographical distribution of river floodplains and low-lying coastal areas. It is also the world’s most expensive type of natural disaster, calculated in hundreds of billions  Euros.

Floods have the potential to cause fatalities, displacement of people, damage to the environment and cultural heritage, to severely compromise economic development and to undermine the economic activities of the Community causing damage to infrastructure.

It is impossible to prevent them but desirable to reduce the risk of their adverse consequences. These risk reduction measures should, as soon as possible, be coordinated throughout a river basin if they want to be effective. For this reason, they very often require transnational cooperation as rivers often mark the borders between the countries or flow through several countries.

The flooding of the river Mura is a common threat to Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. However, the relief experiences have shown so far the lack of trans-border coordination and cooperation, the lack of standardized response procedures.

The aim of the exercise is to test operational concepts, interoperability between the countries and joint decision-making, to exercise procedures of the Mechanism and deployment of exercise teams and equipment, and particularly the use of relevant Commission services such as Emergency Response Centre (ERC), all in real time and in realistic setting.

SPECIFICATION

  • Implementation: Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria
  • Duration: 18 months (01/01/2014 – 30/06/2015)
  • Total eligible cost: 484.354,67 € (EC financial contribution 85% of total)

OBJECTIVES

  • Need for harmonization with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and EU Floods Directive
  • Need for risk assessment, need to improve prevention measures, response and relief at transnational level
  • Need to improve response capacity
  • Need to provide necessary learning opportunity through team practice in a testing environment
  • Need to establish procedures that can be useful for any other states participating to the Mechanism threatened by river floods – sharing of lessons learned

Challanges in project’s objectives

  • Lack of timely information about the level of the water flow that can be key in coping with flooding
  • Lack of exchange of information, insufficient and unreliable information
  • Deficient transnational early-warning and alert system – need to prepare the international protocol on early warning
  • Lack of reliable system of common hydrological forecast
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