Water emergency management

Extreme weather conditions can cause emergencies. For example, flooding can occur. We work closely with other countries to prevent and respond effectively to such emergencies.

EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Disasters know no borders and can strike one or more countries simultaneously without warning. A well-coordinated joint response means that national authorities have a single point of contact when they are overwhelmed. Instead of having to deal with several.

A joint approach also helps to pool the expertise and capacities of first responders, avoid duplication and ensure that assistance is tailored to the needs of those affected. By pooling civil protection capacities and capabilities, it allows for a stronger and more coherent collective response.

The Mechanism also helps to coordinate the disaster preparedness and prevention activities of national authorities. It also contributes to the exchange of best practice.

This facilitates the continuous development of higher common standards. This allows teams to better understand different approaches and to work together in the event of a disaster.

The overall objective of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is to strengthen cooperation between the EU member states, six participating states and the United Kingdom in the field of civil protection during the transitional period. The aim is to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms a country's response capacity, it can request assistance through the Mechanism.

Through the Mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond. It also contributes to at least 75% of the transport and/or operational costs of interventions. The Dutch government is involved through the Departmental Crisis Coordination Office.


The mission of the European Maritime Safety Agency is to serve the maritime interests of the EU for a safe, secure, green and competitive maritime sector. But also to act as a reliable and respected point of reference in the maritime sector in Europe and worldwide. EMSA uses its unique expertise to position itself as a key player in the maritime cluster in Europe and beyond.

EMSA works on maritime safety, security, climate, environment and internal market issues and tasks. Firstly, as a service provider to the Member States and the Commission, but also as an innovative and reliable partner and knowledge hub for the European maritime cluster. And potentially beyond, as an international reference.

The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is a member of EMSA, with many tasks being carried out by Rijkswaterstaat.


In order to prevent floods, it is essential to cooperate with other countries. Rijkswaterstaat is a partner in the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), a European cooperation initiative for monitoring and forecasting floods in Europe. 

In a consortium with Sweden and Slovakia, we form the Dissemination Centre, which issues flood warnings. The Dissemination Centre alerts its members 5 to 10 days in advance and the ERCC provides warnings of potential high water and floods in Europe.