Scaling up prevention – increased cooperation within and across EU macro-regions and their strategies
The European Civil Protection Forum is the largest recurring public event on European civil protection cooperation. It is organised every two years by the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO). The event brings together the European civil protection community to take stock of common achievements in the disaster risk management field, share best practices and ideas, and discuss ways of addressing new challenges together.
This year the CBSS Civil Protection team, in their capacity as EUSBSR Policy Area Secure together with MSB, organised a breakout panel session on 5 March. The panel focused on transnational cooperation for effective disaster risk management and took place under the “Scaling up prevention” pillar of the forum.
The panelists represented all 4 EU macro-regional strategies:
Angelo Masi, Professor of Structural Engineering, University of Basilicata, Italy
Bengt Sundelius, Strategic Adviser to the Director-General, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
Karoly Gombas, Environmental risks Coordinator, EU Strategy for the Danube Region, Hungary
Florian Rudolf-Miklau, Head of Torrent and Avalanche Control Department, Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Austria
Mitja Bricelj, Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenia
Moderator:Stéphane Jacobzone, Counsellor, Reform of the Public Sector – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The idea for the session was conceived already in November 2017, during the first information and knowledge exchange meeting between the coordinators working with security and climate issues in the four EU macro-regional strategies, and representatives from the European Commission (DG ECHO, DG REGIO, and DG CLIMA), organised by Interact.
The added value of the strategies in the regional context is that they promote cooperation through offering a platform for stakeholders to connect to each other and to initiate dialogue. The additional dimension, currently being explored, is the use of synergies that can arise when the strategies work together bringing the different regions of Europe closer to each other.
In the session all four EU macro-regional strategies – the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR, from 2009), the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR, from 2010), the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR, from 2014), and the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP, from 2015) – presented their unique perspectives on transnational cooperation, and how they use their strategy as a platform for initiating and carrying out various types of cooperation activities. The main themes, addressed by all the speakers, included the importance of involving all levels, including citizens, in cooperation efforts; cultivating common goals, values and common societal security culture; intensifying cooperation by establishing personal contacts, and widely disseminating the lessons learned.
For more on the European Civil Protection Forum and interviews with panelists, see here.