The European Commission manages risks associated with floods, including life, economic, environmental, and cultural losses. In 2007, the commission established a directive in response to the devastating impact of floods in the EU over a decade-long period. From 1998 to 2009, 213 severe floods took 1,126 lives, displaced more than 500,000 EU residents, and cost €52 billion in financial losses. The devastation caused partner countries to come together to plan prevention measures that protect citizens. As a part of the directive, the public has the right to access information about and participate in flood planning.
Public coordination and participation is integral to the process which makes all maps and records public. By analyzing environmental factors, including climate change, the European Commission pinpoints flood risks and disseminates flood warnings and maps of flood activity to all stakeholders. By focusing on preparedness, prevention, and protection, the directive aims to mitigate losses. Researches project an increase in floods in the coming decades. However, lessons from the impact of past flood devastation has prepared the EU. Member countries continually review risks, monitor water ways, and evaluate the need for quick intervention to save assets and lives.