After three years of hard and cooperative work, delegates from the IPA FLOODS Consortium, Programme Beneficiaries and representatives from the European Commissions’ Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – DG ECHO, funder of the Programme for Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Floods in the Western Balkans and Turkey, are gathering on next 18 January in Brussels, at DG ECHO premises, for the programme Final Steering Group Meeting.

Ms Julia Stewart-David, Head of Unit A/4 Civil Protection Policy, will welcome the participants while Ms Biljana Zuber, Programme Officer from DG ECHO and Mr Giovanni De Siervo, IPA FLOODS Programme Director will provide them with some preliminary remarks to encourage the debate. As usual, Consortium members will be asked to share the results achieved and lessons learned of the action for which they were in charge. After a complete update on the overall Programme implementation by the Italian Civil Protection Department (DPC), leading partner of the Consortium, for Programme Lot 1 the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief of Slovenia (URSZR) will give an overview of the path followed for the development and establishment of the Multinational CP Modules Flood Rescue using Boats, CIMA Research Foundation will update participants on the actions carried out for approximation to the EU Floods Directive, while for Lot 2 the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agencies (MSB) will speak about the work conducted on the Multinational CP Modules High-Capacity Pumping and Flood Containment. The National Protection and Rescue Directorate of Croatia (DUZS) will explain how they contributed to the development of the annex to the Modules’ Standard Operational Procedures on Border-crossing/Host Nation Support that were tested during the two Regional Field Exercised organised under both lots: IPA FLOODS – CRO 2016 (Lot 1) and IPA FLOODS – VARAŽDIN 2017 (Lot 2).

As this is the Final Meeting within IPA FLOODS, the afternoon session will be entirely dedicated to contributions and suggestions for the way forward from all sides: while DG ECHO will give an overview of the next envisaged EU-funded follow-up actions to support the sustainability and the enhancement of the Programme results, representatives from the Beneficiaries will be focusing and evaluating the Programme implementation approach and methodology, as well as its strengths and weaknesses and areas in need of further attention. Delegates from the Beneficiaries will also mention the main measures they are undertaking at national level to maintain developed flood response teams for ensuring the sustainability of the Programme results.

Considering the issues at stake, other relevant EC Directorates General such us DG NEAR and DG ENV and representatives from World Bank and from United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for Europe will join the meeting in order to contribute to the elaboration of recommendations for the future.

Finally yet importantly, DG ECHO will explain to all Beneficiaries the procedure for the participation to Modules Table-Top and Field Exercises organised under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, and will help them to understand which multinational CP Modules established under IPA FLOODS Programme would be eventually ready to participate in future Module exercises.