After destructive floods, EU sues Greece for failing to revise risk plans

By Thomson Reuters Mar 13, 2024 | 9:40 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it was taking Greece to the EU’s top court for failing to revise its flood risk management plans, a key tool for EU countries to prepare themselves against floods.

The action comes five months after the worst rains in Greece flooded its fertile Thessaly plain, devastating crops and livestock and raising questions about the Mediterranean country’s ability to deal with an increasingly erratic climate.

Under EU rules, countries need to update once in six years their flood management plans, a set of measures aimed to help them mitigate the risks of floods on human lives, the environment and economic activities.

Greece was formally notified by the Commission last year that it should finalise its management plans but the country has so far failed to review, adopt or report its flood risk management plans, the Commission said in a statement.

“The Commission considers that efforts by the Greek authorities have, to date, been insufficient and is therefore referring Greece to the Court of Justice of the European Union,” it added.

The Greek Environment Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Commission last month sued Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain, Ireland, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia for failing to comply with their respective reporting obligations.

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)