EU approach to flood risk management

A paper published in 2016. A legal and policy analysis of the implementation of the Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) in six countries: Belgium(Flemish region), England, France, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden. Evaluation criteria from existing legal and policy literatureframe the study of the Directive and its effect on enhancing or constraining societal resilience by using an adaptive governance approach.These provide insight of the implementation ofthe Directive at a national level. Similarities and differences in the legal translation of European goals into existing flood risk managementare analyzed alongside their relative influence on policy and practice. The research highlights that the effect of the Floods Directiveon increasing societal resilience has been nationally variable, in part because of its focus on procedural obligations, rather than on moresubstantive requirements. Analysis shows that despite a focus on transboundary river basin management, existing traditions of floodrisk management have overridden objectives to harmonize flood risk management in some cases. The Directive could be strengthenedby requiring more stringent cooperation and providing the competent authorities in international river basin districts with more power.Despite some shortcomings in directly affecting flood risk outcomes, the Directive has positively stimulated discussion and flood riskmanagement planning in countries that were perhaps lagging behind.

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