Greece Faces Legal Action from EU over Failure to Update Flood Risk Maps

floods south pelion and skopleos greece april 2020 civil protection greece

On Thursday, the European Commission took legal action against Greece, referring the country to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to provide updated flood risk and flood hazard maps, a requirement under the EU Floods Directive. As the only EU member, Greece did not comply with the directive, prompting the legal proceedings.

The European Commission initiated this action, citing Greece's failure to update the maps by the specified deadline of March 2020, as mandated by the 2007 Floods Directive. Despite the Greek government initially committing to fulfil its obligations by June 2023, it later communicated that compliance could not be achieved before the year's end. The Commission considered this delay a significant factor in its decision to take legal measures against Greece.

The EU executive stressed the critical role of these maps in flood prevention and risk management. The maps are vital tools to raise awareness about flood-prone areas, aiding communities in developing strategies to mitigate risks. Additionally, they support emergency response planning for civil protection, firefighters, and first responders, contribute to insurance decisions, and inform land-use planning and urban development to prevent the creation of new risks.

This legal action comes amid criticism directed at Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the government's response to the deadly wildfires and floods experienced over the summer. Mitsotakis' administration faced accusations of unpreparedness and a lack of an appropriate framework to manage the aftermath of these disasters, particularly from the left-wing opposition. (Source:

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