20190626: Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres, Alois Mock-Saal, Wien. The River Danube unites ten countries of Central and Southeastern Europe, serves as logistical artery of associated
economies and supplies energy and water to industries as well as agriculture. However, growing demands for water as well as climate-change driven increases in occurrence-frequencies of droughts, forest fires and flooding disasters all across the Danube region put Europe’s ‘nerve centre’ under pressure. Conflicts over the distribution of water resources between agriculture and industry as well as problems with drinking-water supply are still aggravating tensions. Shortages in the availability of water-resources, climate-change triggered challenges in civil-protection and disaster-control already give cause for concern individually, but above all – together. Hence, these circumstances – capable of severely jeopardizing political stability throughout the entire Danube region – are obviously matters of serious concern.
Five years after the European Civil Protection Mechanism came into force, scientists and experts from environmental- and civil-protection as well as from disaster-control are discussing sustainable solutions and perspectives for cross-border cooperation in dealing with water as a resource. Do we need a cross-border water strategy for the Danube region? How do business, politics and society counter climate-change driven impacts and accelerating shifts in risk-landscapes regarding natural disasters?