The event is organised within the project "Policy-relevant assessment of socio-economic effects of droughts and floods" (PREEMPT) funded by the European Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) in the context of the Financial Instruments for Civil Protection which aims to assist the relevant authorities to better appreciate the risks posed by droughts and floods.

The knowledge collected and improved by this project will be instrumental in strengthening several EU policies and national efforts to mitigate natural hazard risk. This is especially timely as the designated river basin authorities are now in process of implementing the provisions of the Water Framework and Flood Directives.

In fact, over the past decades, the European Union witnessed a striking increase in the losses caused by natural, and particularly hydro-meteorological disasters. Every year large areas of Europe are hit by droughts and/or floods, directly or indirectly affecting many communities and economic sectors. Floods and droughts cannot be prevented but their adverse impacts can be reduced. Effective prevention requires accurate knowledge of what is at stake. Yet the knowledge about the past disasters is erratic and incomplete. At best, only direct losses are known and then only for some of the key sectors. Little attention is paid to indirect, induced and intangible effects, albeit these together may exceed the direct losses in the case of droughts, and account for significant damage in the case of flood. As a consequence, the actual losses are underestimated and policy responses which are based on such data are insufficient or inadequate to determine if measures are needed to mitigate future disaster risks.

The project sets to support the relevant authorities in better appreciating the risks posed by droughts and floods. It does so by collecting the data about past disasters, filling the knowledge and data gaps – in particular those concerning indirect and intangible losses, both economic and social, and by improving risk assessment methods and approaches in place.

This Policy Expert Workshop is intended to convey key results of the project to a wider scientific and risk practitioners’ community. It includes a capacity development component for representatives of the relevant governmental agencies and academic institutions from all participating countries and river basins.

The participation in the workshop is upon invitation only.
Further information about the PREEMPT project is available at