European Commission calls for improved flood risk management in Europe


EU Member States have an obligation to take appropriate measures to reduce the risk of flooding. This is laid down in the EU Floods Directive which requires the assessment of water courses and coast lines, the mapping of flood extent and the goods and people at risk in these areas, and the adoption of appropriate and coordinated measures to reduce this flood risk.

Even so, the European Commission considers that it is time for a new recipe for flood risk management in Europe, and states that Member States will have to adopt flood risk management plans; the second cycle of plans is scheduled for 2021. Wetlands International supports the European Commission’s call for a greater focus on green infrastructure or natural flood management measures in these new plans.

In this briefing, Wetlands International gives recommendations to Member States to focus on nature-based solutions and green infrastructure measures and lists a number of platforms where knowledge on nature-based solutions and case studies can be found. We explain why Member States should refrain from applying old recipes such as extensive grey infrastructure works. Compared to traditional infrastructure, nature-based solutions deliver more jobs per euro, are less expensive, faster to implement, have a lower carbon footprint and are more sustainable in the long run.