Between 1998 and 2004, Europe suffered over 100 major damaging floods, including the catastrophic floods along the Danube and Elbe rivers in summer 2002. Severe floods in 2005 further reinforced the need for concerted action. Since 1998 floods in Europe have caused some 700 deaths, the displacement of about half a million people and at least €25 billion in insured economic losses.
In response to these losses, the European commission and various independent organizations have started the identification of priority actions for long term plod prevention, considering the environmental protection and the climate change. The elaboration of new Flood directive has been initiated.