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Central Europe

Region's countries

Entire area of seven EU Member States (Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia), the central and eastern regions of Germany and the northern regions of Italy


Policy framework

1.    Transnational cooperation programme

The INTERREG V B Central Europe Programme 2014-2020 aims to promote cooperation beyond borders to make Central Europe cities and regions better places to live and work. The focus of the programme is on policy-learning and implementation-oriented approaches at the transnational level, while building regional capacities based on integrated, bottom-up approaches that involve relevant actors from all governance levels. For the period 2014-2020, the programme focuses on four priorities:

  1. Innovation to increase the competitiveness of the region;
  2. Low-carbon strategies;
  3. Natural and cultural resources for sustainable growth in the region;
  4. Transport to improve connectivity of the region.

During this period, the programme is expected to improve:

  • Sustainable linkages among actors of the innovation systems for strengthening regional innovation capacity, skills and entrepreneurial competences towards the advancement of economic and social innovation;
  • Integrated environmental management capacities for the protection and sustainable use of natural heritage and resources;
  • Capacities for the sustainable use of cultural heritage and resources;
  • Planning and coordination of regional passenger transport systems for better connections to national and European transport networks.

The programme highlights climate change impacts, in particular an increasing number of extreme weather events, natural hazard events, and changes in geographic distribution of precipitation, as major challenges for the region. Climate change adaptation is addressed as one among several environment-related sub-topics within priority 3, and specifically within the objective aiming to improve integrated environmental management capacities for the protection and sustainable use of natural heritage and resources. In addition, vulnerability of urban areas to climate change is identified as an issue under a further objective on “the improvement of environmental management of functional urban areas to make them more liveable places”. Finally, adaptation is part of the horizontal principles of the programme, particularly sustainable development - climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster resilience and risk prevention and management.


2.    Macro-region strategies

There is no a directly corresponding EU macro-regional strategy for the Central Europe region, but several macro-regional strategies have a share in different parts of the Central European cooperation area. These are the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), European Strategy for Alpine Space (EUSALP) and European Strategy for Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR), which are dealing with climate adaptation on their transnational cooperation agendas in varying ways (see Climate-ADAPT pages on Danube, Alpine Space and Adriatic-Ionian regions). The Central Europe Programme contributes to all these macro-regions, but the EUSDR has the largest geographical overlaps with this region and is thus most relevant.


3.    International conventions and other cooperation initiatives

The Central Europe region partially overlaps with the perimeters of the Carpathian Convention and the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC), which are almost entirely included in the Danube transnational region.

Detailed information including links to the most relevant documents on adaptation in the Carpathian mountains is provided by the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention based on submission from the Convention´s Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change.


4.    Adaptation strategies and plans

Existing transnational and cross-border strategies and plans addressing adaptation concerns relevant for parts of the Central Europe region have an overriding focus on water resource and flood risk management in the Danube River basin. The Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) as well as the relevance of the Danube River Basin Management Plan (DRBM Plan) and the Danube Flood Risk Management Plan (DFRM Plan) for adaptation are thus described in Danube transnational region section of Climate-ADAPT.


Examples of projects funded in the 2014–2020 period

Examples of projects funded by the Central Europe Programme 2014-2020 are reported below.

Responding to growing problem pressure due to increasing frequency and intensity of local extreme precipitation events, the project RAINMAN (Integrated Heavy Rain Risk Management) (2017-2020) seeks to develop solutions against the effects of heavy rainfall events in a risk management context. 10 partners from 6 countries are carrying out the following main activities: (1) developing methods to assess heavy rain risks and to support identification of high risk areas in urban and rural land use settings; (2) developing a joint strategy to reduce risks of heavy rain events, a catalogue of risk reduction measures, guidance for selection of best options, and guidance for implementation of measures; (3) pilot activities in 7 regions to test the feasibility of developed approaches and to optimize their performance and transferability. To improve the integrated risk management capacities of regional and local administrations, the results shall be compiled in a comprehensive toolbox.

The PROLINE-CE (Efficient Practices of Land Use Management Integrating Water Resources Protection and Non-structural Flood Mitigation Experiences) project (2016-2019), aims to improve the protection of drinking water resources as well as the protection of regions against floods and droughts in an integrated land use management approach, taking into account adaptation to pressures caused by climate change despite uncertain climate projections. Existing strategies, management plans and good practices will be implemented in 8 pilot areas. The following main lines of activities are being carried out: (1) peer review of current best land use management practices for drinking water resources in each country; (2) assessment of existing land use practices in terms of drinking water protection and of potentials for improvement; (3) developing transferable guidance for implementation of best management practices for drinking water protection; (4) preparing a joint political declaration with targets for effective and efficient land use management practices (‘DriFLU – Drinking Water/Floods/Land-Use-Charta’), to be signed by political representatives of each participating country.