Role of the European Union

Modifié le 05/11/2015


The flood risk is covered by the European Directive of 23 October 2007, which sets out the general framework for public management of a flood. The Member States are required to transpose this Directive into national law, which involves producing risk mapping identifying the Significant Risk Areas (Territoires à Risque Important - TRI).

For more information


The Treaty of Lisbon (which came into force in 2009) introduced several areas in which the European Union has power to act, including civil protection. This is a support power, meaning that the EU only intervenes to support, coordinate and complement the actions taken by the Member States.

The primary agency responsible for managing the consequences of a disaster is the State in which the disaster takes place. To assist any State whose national capacities have been exhausted, a European mechanism has been put in place.

"The Union shall encourage cooperation between Member States in order to improve the effectiveness of systems for preventing and protecting against natural or man-made disasters."

Union action shall aim to:

  • support and complement Member States' action at national, regional and local level in risk prevention, in preparing their civil-protection personnel and in responding to natural or man-made disasters within the Union;
  • promote swift, effective operational cooperation within the Union between national civil-protection services;
  • promote consistency in international civil-protection work.

Extract of Article 196 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

EU Sequana 2016 will be used to test the operational effectiveness of this European mechanism. The European Commission is therefore funding a large part of the exercise, and several Member States in the mechanism have provided their support to the operational activities, which will take place on 12 and 13 March 2016.