POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Solidarity beyond borders

Cooperation on crisis and disaster management



Place d’Argent, Luxembourg-Eich, 15 July 2021 Matic Zorman/ Maison Moderne 

Place d’Argent, Luxembourg-Eich, 15 July 2021 Matic Zorman/ Maison Moderne 

Solidarity between the grand duchy, Belgium, and the Netherlands continue to strengthen in the aftermath of the unprecedented July floods that affected all three countries, which are also grappling with the effects of the pandemic on its populations. 

Ministers in the three countries have called for more collaboration following lessons learnt from the July floods. The three ministers--Annelies Verlinden, Belgium’s minister of the interior, institutional reform and democratic renewal, interior minister Taina Bofferding (LSAP), and Ferdinand Grapperhaus, the Netherland’s justice and security minister—met during an informal meeting that took place in Belgium, where they underscored the importance of cooperation between the three neighbouring countries in the area of crisis and disaster management.

As a precautionary measure and to rapidly respond to future emergencies, the need for closer contact and coordination between crisis centres and disaster management authorities was highlighted in a press release following the meeting, as well as plans for a common interoperability platform. The cooperation and solidarity that ensued following the floods “shows that a joint approach and cooperation in disaster and crisis management is effective,” the press release said.

“Today’s meeting was important to exchange lessons learnt on the recent disasters, which underlined again the importance of a strengthened cooperation in the domain of disaster risk reduction to be able to cope with a dynamic risk landscape and strengthen the resilience of our countries and regions," Bofferding said.

"Last July's floods and the covid pandemic reminded us that disasters don't stop at the borders. It is essential, in times of crisis, to take our responsibilities also at the international level and to show solidarity with our neighbouring countries. I was pleased to confirm with fellow ministers Grapperhaus and Bofferding our commitment to do our utmost together in order to provide the best possible assistance to victims in future emergencies as well," added Verlinden.

Prior to the meeting, the ministers also visited a Belgian aid station in a flood-affected area in Wallonia.