Efficient risk prevention against natural disasters through cross-border cooperation in the Danube area

Through the development of joint monitoring systems and improved cooperation between public authorities, academic circles and rescue services in Bulgaria and Romania, damages caused by environmental disasters such as hail, air pollution and floods in the Danube border area have been reduced.

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New fire engines contribute to improved emergency intervention in the Danube border area New fire engines contribute to improved emergency intervention in the Danube border area

The joint risk monitoring project brings benefits to the 5.1 million inhabitants currently living on both sides of the Danube, who can be rescued more quickly and efficiently in the case of an emergency due to better emergency preparedness and training of the intervention services, the purchase of new equipment, and improved flood risk management. At the same time, the exchange of best practices in seminars and study visits, and the adoption of European standards result in strengthened environmental policies, leading to long-term environmental protection.

Focus on four fields of risk prevention

The cooperation focuses on fields of environmental policy where an integrated monitoring and reaction system can generate the highest benefits. These are:

  1. improvement of emergency preparedness and disaster consequences mitigation,
  2. air quality monitoring and pollution control,
  3. flood risk management, and
  4. prevention of disasters caused by hail through anti-hail missiles.

Local authorities use the data obtained in the research activities carried out in the partner institutes and universities to draft joint risk management plans and implement model projects. They also adopted a joint glossary of terms in Romanian, Bulgarian and English to facilitate understanding. Finally, the purchase of emergency equipment, such as rescue equipment, and monitoring instruments, for example for air quality monitoring, has enabled the project partners to carry out their joint activities.

At the same time, public information about the possible risks is also strengthened, for example through the publication of a handbook and maps pointing out the risks in the area.

“The project positively influences the safety and health of 5.1 million inhabitants on both sides of the Danube River, and protects biodiversity. The new equipment ensures both the possibility of joint specialized intervention forces at county and cross border level, as well as reliability and performance. The knowledge and experience gained during this project are of a great significance for us in preparing and setting up the joint disaster intervention, and in harmonizing and developing joint standard operational procedures. This was undeniably a good opportunity to enhance the cooperation between our institutions.”

Colonel Emilian Lascateu, Project leader at the Romanian General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU)

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Joint Risk Monitoring during Emergencies in the Danube Border Area” is EUR 11 508 671 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contributing EUR 9 761 655 through priority axis 2 of the “Romania-Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation Programme” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

09/05/2014