Water emergency management

Extreme weather conditions can lead to emergencies. Floods can occur for example. We work closely with other countries on preventing such emergencies and addressing them effectively.

EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM)

Disasters know no borders and can hit 1 or several countries simultaneously without warning. Having a well-coordinated joint response means, that national authorities have one point of contact, if they are overwhelmed. Rather than having multiple to deal with.

A joint approach further helps to pool expertise and capacities of 1st responders, avoids duplication of relief efforts and ensures that assistance meets the needs of those affected. By pooling together civil protection capacities and capabilities, it allows for a stronger and more coherent collective response. The Mechanism also helps to coordinate disaster preparedness and prevention activities of national authorities. It also contributes to the exchange of best practices.

This facilitates the continuous development of higher common standards. This enables teams to better understand different approaches and work interchangeably, when a disaster strikes.

The overall objective of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is to strengthen cooperation between the EU Member States, 6 Participating States and the UK during the transition period, in the field of civil protection. This with a view to improving prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via 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 deployments. The Dutch government is involved through the Departmental Crisis Coordination Office.


European Maritime Safety Agency's mission is to serve EU maritime interests 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 capitalises on its unique know-how to position itself as an essential player in the maritime cluster in Europe and beyond.

EMSA works on maritime safety, security, climate, environment and single market issues and tasks. First as a service provider to Member States and the Commission, but also as an innovative and reliable partner and knowledge hub for the European maritime cluster. Also potentially beyond, as a reference internationally. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water is member of EMSA, with many tasks carried out by Rijkswaterstaat.


To prevent flooding, it is essential to work together with other countries. Rijkswaterstaat is a partner of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), a European cooperation initiative for monitoring and forecasting floods in Europe.

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