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Overview of natural and man-made disaster risks the European Union may face

Source(s):  European Commission (EC)

Note: an updated version of this report is available here.

This overview was developed using the results of national assessments of the main risks of natural and man-made disasters across the EU 28 Member States and the six non-EU countries participating in the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM).

The overview focuses on 11 main disaster risks extracted from National Risk Assessments submitted by UCPM Participating States: flooding; extreme weather; forest fire; earthquake; pandemic; epizootic; industrial accident; critical infrastructure disruption; nuclear and radiological accident; cybercrime and terrorism. An insight into new and emerging risks and a series of annexes presenting some national risk assessment good practices complete the overview.

The overview does not constitute, in itself, a European assessment of disaster risks. It builds on nationally-assessed disaster risks to reflect the complex landscape of disaster risks across Europe, the supra-national dimension of disaster risks and the relevance of their management to many policy areas at national, regional and European levels. The overview informs decision-makers of the main disaster risks to which Participating States in the UCPM are exposed, of the perceptions and assessments of these risks, and on the wealth of relevant processes, instruments and initiatives in place at a European level. This technical exercise provides a basis for observations on how to improve national outputs and European added value for risk assessment and for the full disaster management cycle.

This overview highlights the increasing need to move towards a regional approach to disaster risk management, identifying gaps in disaster risk management at the supra-national scale that the European Commission could fill, such as developing regional risk assessments, methodologies and tools, risk management and response plans, and regional preparedness exercises on which to strengthen the Emergency Response Coordination Centre and contribute to the implementation of the Sendai framework for DRR. The overview also highlights the need to strengthen methods and approaches, including in the management of complex disasters, accounting for the long-term impacts of climate change and natural resource pressures, and responding to emerging risks such as migrant and refugee influxes, climate- and environment-induced migration, anti-microbial resistance, space weather and loss of biodiversity.



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  • Overview of natural and man-made disaster risks the European Union may face
  • Publication date 2017
  • Number of pages 112 p.

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