Informal meeting Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands on crisis and disaster management

Both the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent floods have had a major impact in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. All three countries faced and still face an unprecedented challenge. Since the start of the pandemic, the close cooperation between the countries has been strengthened and expanded. During an informal meeting in Belgium today, Minister Verlinden (Internal Affairs, Belgium), Minister Bofferding (Internal Affairs, Luxembourg) and Minister Grapperhaus (Justice and Security, The Netherlands) underlined the importance of cooperation between the three neighboring countries on crisis and disaster management. Prior to the consultation, the ministers paid a working visit to a Belgian aid station in a flood-affected area in ​​Wallonia.

Fast and efficient cooperation and optimal cross-border crisis coordination require close contact between the crisis centers and disaster management authorities. The ministers also spoke about working about a common interoperability platform for their national crisis centra. The three ministers re-iterated the importance of intensive cooperation and, where necessary, to provide assistance to each other. The assistance requested and provided last summer shows that a joint approach and cooperation in disaster and crisis management is effective.

“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 neighboring 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” thus Verlinden.

“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 stressed.  

“The recent floods, but also the corona crisis, show how important it is that we work closely together and continue to do so. Our countries have long had very good agreements and cooperation to offer each other help and assistance in the event of a crisis or disaster. It was good to speak with colleagues Verlinden and Bofferding and to emphasize that again," Grapperhaus said.