South Eastern Europe (SEE) is prone to disasters that transcend borders and overwhelm the capacity of a single country to cope. The level of preparedness and prevention capacities varies considerably from country to country. Some threats, such as flooding and forest fires tend to be seasonal in nature and thus present opportunities for immediate preparedness measures and mutual cooperation between neighbouring nations.
Upon an initiative of the countries in the region, in November 2000 the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe launched the “Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative” (DPPI) in an effort to contribute to the development of a cohesive regional strategy for disaster preparedness and prevention of the SEE countries. The DPPI was conceived as an activity that sought to provide a framework for South Eastern European nations to develop programs and projects leading to strengthened capabilities in preventing and responding to natural and man-made disasters.
Transfer to the region - full regional ownership - In 2007, being aware of the importance and benefits of regional co-operation in the field of disaster preparedness and prevention, the SEE countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey) agreed to fully take over the management of the Initiative by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the Institutional Framework of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe. In 2013 and 2014, the DPPI SEE member countries reaffirmed their commitments expressed in the Memorandum of Understanding (2007) by signing the new Memorandum of Understanding on the Institutional Framework of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe 2013.
The DPPI SEE has developed over the past years into a largely independent, effective, consultative and coordinating mechanism. It fosters co-operation across borders in order to ensure the safety of citizens as well as of the environment. The unique value of the DPPI SEE, no doubt, lies in its member countries unwavering commitment to the implementation of the DPPI SEE principle goals and objectives. This way, the Initiative is driven by the countries of the region while the fuel comes from different stakeholder sources always aimed at enabling the engine to run.