Brussels, 14 July 2010
Environment: Commission requests Poland to comply with rules on flood prevention
The European Commission has decided to ask Poland to comply with EU environmental legislation in the area of flood prevention and risk management. Poland has failed to inform the Commission about the implementation of this legislation, which was due by November 2009. Poland has two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to comply with the request for information, which takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of a satisfactory response the Commission may refer Poland to the Court of Justice.
Non-communication of the Floods Directive
Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks is intended to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. Floods endanger lives and cause human tragedy as well as heavy economic losses. Floods are natural phenomena but through the right measures their likelihood can be reduced and their impact limited. In addition to social and economic damage, floods can have severe environmental consequences, for example when installations holding quantities of chemicals are inundated or wetland areas destroyed. The coming decades are likely to see a higher flood risk in Europe and potentially greater economic damage.
The Directive requires Member States to carry out a preliminary assessment by 2011 to identify the river basins and associated coastal areas at risk of flooding. Flood risk maps are then to be drawn up for such zones by 2013, with flood risk management plans following two year later, by 2015. The risk maps focus on prevention, protection and preparedness.
Member States had until 26 November 2009 to implement the legislation and inform the Commission. Ensuring prompt and correct implementation of EU legislation by Member States is a priority for the Commission.
For current statistics on infringements in general see:
More details on water policy: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/index_en.htm