CIVPRO project
29th June 2011

One of the largest challenge of the past period is to stop and balance the occurrence of damages and disasters. In Hungary an essential changing can be seen in the field of the modernisation and renewal of the defence/protection. Recently County Town Miskolc and the Miskolc Sub-Region have been stricken by both natural and man made emergencies, disasters several times. Miskolc is the town where, according to the classification of the current Hungarian laws, the most people are living in the highest vulnerability.

With the vocational help of the town disaster management the town leadership, which considers the security of the citizens above all, have done its best to use the the sources of the European Union and to apply them in the local disaster management. Up to now several successful project were done in the cooperation of the Town, the Disaster Management and the Regional Disaster Management and Civil Protection Association.
The process was started by Fire Service Lieutenant General Dr. György Bakondi as patron with a Workshop called „Together in the trouble” in 2003. The vocational directions of this activity have determined the activities of the town in this area for the last ten years. Under the umbrella of europeanship Miskolc was the first in the country, that made contract with the North Italian Province Emilia Romagna and with Kassa Town in the field of improvement of disaster management.
Together with the CivPro project partners the Town has successfully applied for the regional development of disaster prevention and emergency preparedness, which is one of the most important part of the management of crisis situations, but perhaps it receives less then necessary attention. The CivPro project started in 2010. The major goal the project is to prevent the potential emergencies and damages affecting the population, the properties, the enviroment and the society by development regional policies. The project designates specific targets for improving controll and disaster prevention. It introduces the concept of comprehensive thinking in order to establish a broad regional policy approach.
Therefore, the CivPro project primarily focuses on the establishment of regional strategies related to disaster prevention and preparedness, and focuses on that these points of view were inserted into the comprehensive system of civil protection on the best possible way.
In the light of the growing number of events the issue and support of disaster prevention have been appreciated. Despite of the fact that several solutions were borne in several areas of the World and Europe, this activity has no European regional procedures, uniform approach. Taking this into consideration new horizons opened up for the project by the 2nd International Conference held in Miskolc between the 21st and 24th of June 2011. The disaster prevention and preparation are very broad areas, they have impact on almost all layers of the society, their realisation is impossible without the collaboration of the effected community. Their management requires close cooperation among the state, the local govrnments and the NGOs working in this area. This should work at local and sub-regional levels. The realisation of the fundamental European principle, the subsidiarity could be traced now. This comes from informations revealed at the Conference. Along this values at the Conference, there was presented, as an example the regional practise of the Hungarian partner, the protection works at the water system of Sajó River and after it the flood risk mitigation works, which are subject of international attention and are considered as exemplary ones.
The Conference began with a vocational day where the participants reconciled the questions of establishment of the policy of regional disaster management strategy, they studied the local, regional, national and international modes of procedures and methodology of the prevention and preparation. In the analysis of the vocational questions besides the professional experts of the disaster management there were the experts of civilian organisations, the Hungarian Civil Protection Association and its member organisations too.
The second day of the Conference continued with plenary session in the main buiding of the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Disaster Management Directorate
Dr. Ákos Kriza, Mayor of Miskolc welcomed the Hungarian and foreign partners and the invited people present. In his opening remarks he recalled the flood in last year which hit the Town and the region. He underlined that the goal was the harmonisation of the work of the forces taking part in the protection and rescue movements, which was not possible wihout serious, preventive, prepaderness activities. He emphasised that the Town is committed to the improvement of the effectiveness of flood protection. The floods in last year, mainly the flood events of Szinva River show the actuality and importance of the problem. As requirement, he mentioned that the civil protection and the disaster management not only at national and Union level had to be prepared for flood protection, but they should be maximally prepared at sub-region and local level too, and all those who are involved into and participants of the task should work on an integrated, common way.
In her opening remarks Dr. Kaili N. Saini, the lead partner of the project, in the representation of the Greek Ministry of Interior and the civil protection of the Union, gave information on the preparation of the CivPro tender. She told that Miskoc Town was requested to attend in the project as it is strongly affected by floods, where the experts obtained large expertise in the management of damage events. Common goal of the partners was their cooperation in the preventions and protections, in the current phase of the project we put the emphase on the prevention, said the representative of the lead partener, the Greek Ministry of Interior.
On behalf of the National Directorate General for Disaster Management of the MI CP Colonel Dr. Ferenc Tóth, Chief Inspector for Civil Protection spoke about the importance of the Conference, which, as he said, fitted to the events, conferences organised by the DGDM of the MI in connection with the EU Presidency of Hungary.
The topics of the vocational presentations – considering the voulnerability of Miskolc Town and Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County – were in majority about the protection against the damages of waters.
Chief Engineer Mr. József Laki, Deputy Director for Engineering of the North Hungarian Environment Protection and Water Management Directorate (NHEPWMD) gave an overview of the formation of the 2010 floods in Borsod, about the protection activities, about the measures in connection with the declaration of the emergency situaton and about the most important tasks of the recovery after the flood wave went away. CP Colonel Dr. Ferenc Tóth in his lecture titled: „Prevention and Risk Mitigation Policy of the Hungarian Flood Protection” spoke about the flood protection and reconstruction actitvities in last year. The lessons learned from them highlighted the importance of renewal of the disaster management system. As he said the new (draft) bill would be at the National Ansembly in the coming days. He gave information in details about the most importante changes and about the new, recently developed, national command and controll plan.
CP Lieutenent Colonel Dezső Tóth, Civil Protection Inspector of the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Disaster Management Directorate and Mr. Peter Ferjencik, Head of Civil Protection of Kassa Town presented the lessons learned from the mutual assistance functioning for several years already and the existing cooperation on the water system area of the Sajó and Hernád Rivers.
Mr. Csaba Csont, Head of Department for Flood Protection and River Management of NHEPWMD informed about the way of the the Hungarian-Slovakian cross-border cooperation through the tasks emerging from the EU water-frame directive and from the flood directive.
About the process of the recovery and reconstruction after the flood Ret. CP Colonel Dr. István Endrődi, President of the Hungarian Civil Protection Association spoke. He followed the works at the scenes in the region as deputy of the Ministerial Commissioner. According to the decision of the Government, the reconstruction could end to the deadline, before the winter thank to the efforts of people working in the public administration, to the builders, the insurance companies, charitable organisations. This could be an example not only for our partners but for the experts all over Europe. Following the lectures the participants viewed the tasks done fore the flood security of the settlements of the valley of Sajó River, the flood protection dikes under construction in Felsőzsolca. Also they saw the up to date population alert and information system, which was handed over on the 23rd of June.
On the third day of the Conference they negotiated the progress of the project and vocational questions. At the closing eveluation the success of the Conference was declared as an unanimous opinion. The results achieved in Miskolc gave excellent basis for the successful realisation of the project. And the appearance of its results at national and regional levels will feedback to the security of the people living here and of the enviroment, which is also common interest of all the citizens of Miskolc.