Following the catastrophic floods of 2013 and 2014 on the Danube River, high level and expert meetings were organized by EUSDR Priority Area 5 so cross cutting measures were discussed in a policy and an inter-institutional context (i.e. flood rescue teams and programmers) in all the 14 Danube countries. Altogether more than 70 institutions and authorities, including institutions of non-member states were involved in the procedure in order to collect the experiences gained during the floods of the last decade and to assess the needs of the countries in coping with floods at basin level to develop and harmonize Danube Region level development programmes. As a result of the “flood survey” (a series of consultations) of PA5 experts in the Danube Basin the Danube Region Operative Flood Management and Cooperation Programme (DR Oper&Cooper) has been finalized and annexed with an action plan defining concrete measures to be taken. The document has been adopted by the PA5 Steering Group on its meeting on the 28th of April 2015. In the same year ICPDR elaborated the 1st Flood Risk Management Plan for the Danube River Basin and it has been published at the beginning of 2016. Annex II of this plan also incorporates the Measures of DR Oper&Cooper.
During the “flood survey” it was recognized that some Danubian countries have no organized education, training facilities in connection with water and flood management, prevention. The 6th Measure of the DR Oper&Cooper is facing the challange to develop an education/training network of universities/training centres to “train trainers” and develop curricula for training of flood managers.
The first step was done on 6th of October 2016 to reach this common goal of the Danube Basin, when Mr. Zoltán Melicz the rector of Eötvös József College from Baja (Hungary) and Mr. Gregor Jaburek the chancellor of Technische Hochschule Deggendorf signed a Joint Declaration of Interest – with the support of the Hungarian PA5 coordination – during the last Hungarian-Bavarian Joint Commission Session in Budapest. The two higher education institutes decided to elaborate and run – in line with the objectives of EUSDR – an international postgraduate degree program on the field of flood protection engineering. Further enlargement of the network is planned by the parties through the involvement of University of Novi Sad (Serbia) into the teaching programme. The core of the curricula will be based on more than one decade of experiences and more than 200 Hungarian experts who already graduated at the Eötvös József College as flood protection engineers.
EUSRD Prioirty Area 5 is intent on the support of a growing network, to help the institutes to find proper funds for their activities, to finance the preparation of some e-learning materials and to facilitate the participation of experts from the Danube Basin on their teaching programme.
The representatives of the higher education institutes in the company of Ms. Beate Merk (Bavarian) and Mr. Péter Szijjártó (Hungarian) ministers during the Joint Hungarian-Bavarian Commission in October 2016
Mr. Zoltán Melicz (right) the rector of Eötvös József College Baja and Mr. Gregor Jaburek (left) chancellor of Technische Hochschule Deggendorf are signing a Joint Declaration of Interest in Budapest