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       EU Policies 11/04/2011
 
Risk Assessment for Disaster Management in the EU

3081st JUSTICE and HOME AFFAIRS Council meeting, Luxembourg, 11 and 12 April 2011

 

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. Recalling the 2009 Council conclusions on a Community framework on disaster prevention within the EU1 which highlighted the potential added value of an EU dimension in areas of risk identification and analysis, impact analysis, risk assessment and matrices, scenario development and risk management measures and invited the Commission to develop guidelines, in a concerted action with Member States, taking into account work at national

level on methods of risk mapping, assessments and analyses, in order to facilitate Member States' action in these areas and to ensure better comparability between the methods used by Member States;

 

2. Recalling that before the end of 2011, the Member States are invited to further develop national approaches to, and procedures for, risk management, including risk analyses, covering the potential major natural and man-made disasters, taking into account the future impact of climate change, and recalling that before the end of 2012 the Commission, using the available national risk analysis and taking into account the future impact of climate

change and the need for climate adaptation, is to prepare a cross-sectoral overview of the major natural and man-made risks that the EU may face in the future and on this basis identify risks or types of risks that would be shared by Member States or regions in different Member States;

 

3. Considering that coherent national risk assessments will underpin a common understanding in the EU of the risks faced by Member States and the EU, and will facilitate cooperation on efforts to prevent and mitigate shared risks, such as cross-border risks, and considering that comparability of risk assessment methods would add value to the individual efforts of

Member States and would allow risk assessments to be shared between regions or Member States facing the same or similar risks;

 

4. Considering that evidence-based risk assessments and risk mapping contribute to ensuring that policy decisions are prioritised in ways which address the most severe risks with the overall aim of disaster prevention;

 

5. Recalling the Stockholm Programme - "An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens"; recalling the Commission Communication on the EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe3, announcing the development, together with Member States, of EU risk assessment and mapping guidelines for disaster management, based on a multi-hazard and multi-risk approach, covering in principle all natural and manmade

disasters including the consequences of terrorism, and stipulating that by 2014 the EU should establish a coherent risk management policy linking threat and risk assessments to decision-making;

 

6. Considering that it would be appropriate for the Member States and the Union to identify, analyse, evaluate, communicate, and address the risks they face in terms of likelihood of an incident, vulnerability and its impacts;

 

7. Taking into account existing EU legislation in order to ensure conformity with relevant initiatives, such as the INSPIRE Directive5 and the GMES Regulation6, and the need for complementarity with other relevant EU legislation, such as the Floods Directive7, the Seveso II Directive8, the Nuclear Safety Directive9 and the Directive on European Critical Infrastructures;

 

8. Emphasises that risk assessment can help to improve disaster management by enhancing the basis for the analysis of prevention and preparedness measures as well as for capacity analysis and capability planning, and is a continuous and necessary building block for the development of a coherent risk management policy;

 

9. Welcomes the Commission's Guidelines on Risk Assessment and Mapping for Disaster Management;

 

10. Invites the Commission to:

a) support Member States in their efforts to initiate developing national risk assessments by the end of 2011, by, inter alia,

- making available appropriate examples of good practice for different types of risk scenarios,

- facilitating the exchange of best practices and lessons learned regarding the

development and implementation of risk assessment methods between Member States,

- disseminating the results of studies which could contribute to risk assessment mapping for disaster management in a useable format,

- organising dedicated workshops and expert meetings so as to be able to get Member States' experts acquainted with the risk assessment methodology as described in the Commission's Guidelines on Risk Assessment and Mapping for Disaster Management,

- supporting analysis of relevant aspects of existing EU legislation which would need to be taken into account;

 

b) further elaborate the best use of risk mapping as a supporting tool in the risk assessment process in respect of the existing sectoral EU legislation;

 

c) build on risk assessment work as the essential input for capacity analysis and capability planning with a view to developing a coherent risk management policy at EU level in respect of the existing sectoral EU legislation;

 

d) update Member States on progress and make use of the relevant expertise of the Member States in developing an overview of the risks the EU may face in the future; and by early 2012, report on information that Member States have provided with regard to risks of relevance to the development of that overview;

 

e) amend the Risk Assessment and Mapping Guidelines for Disaster Management in order to make it clear that consequences of terrorist attacks should be taken into account;

 

11. Invites the Member States to:

a) identify a single point of contact to coordinate the work on national risk assessments;

 

b) organise appropriate coordination between relevant stakeholders in the various risks, in order to agree on and define a common understanding of risk terminology and methodology and enable the establishment and assessment of relevant risk scenarios;

 

c) provide relevant non-sensitive information12 to the general public and stakeholders on the results of risk assessments, in order to raise awareness and enhance preventive measures and preparedness;

 

d) identify and analyse single-risk scenarios, and also strive to consider significant multirisk scenarios, where possible;

 

e) use good practice whenever possible, bearing in mind in particular the examples of good practice for various types of risk scenarios that the Commission and others may provide as guidance;

 

f) where appropriate, employ both qualitative and quantitative methods in risk

assessments;

 

g) take into consideration the available results of national risk assessments for the purposes of appropriate capacity analysis and capability planning, as part of prevention and preparedness, in order to further develop a national disaster risk management policy in respect of the existing sectoral EU legislation;

 

h) share information and good practice with other Member States and the Commission, in particular for similar and shared risks, with a view to developing closer cooperation in the field of risk management;

 

i) provide the Commission by the end of 2011 with the information available on progress, and in particular:

• a description of the process, methodology, methods, and non-sensitive data used for national risk assessments;

• non-sensitive details of the assumptions and risk scenarios, and non-sensitive information on the results of the national risk analysis;

• a description of impacts and likelihood resulting from the risk scenario analysis in an appropriately disaggregated format, e.g. separately for human, economic, environmental and other impacts, such as political, social/psychological, in line with the EU guidelines;

• a short list of risk scenarios in an order enabling identification of risks likely to be shared by Member States, and including low-probability, high-impact risks which Member States acting alone would be unlikely to be able to address;

• any other risks considered important for the EU overview, including lowprobability, high-impact risks;

 

12. Invites the Commission, in close cooperation with Member States, to regularly update the Guidelines on Risk Assessment and Mapping for Disaster Management in the light of advances in research and implementation experience in Member States, in particular in the areas of terminology, methodology, impact assessment and scenarios."

 
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