Natural Hazards

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 2163–2179 | Cite as

Flood risk perception in Central-Eastern European members states of the EU: a review

  • Pavel RaškaEmail author
Review Article


Central-Eastern European (CEE) post-communist member states of the European Union have experienced several catastrophic floods during the last two decades, resulting in further discussions on implementation of the European Flood Directive (EC in Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks. European Community 2007). A particular issue being discussed is the level of public involvement in flood risk reduction because these countries are burdened by former highly centralized policy resulting in certain specifics in flood risk perception by the public, stakeholders and authorities. Through this paper, we try to fill the gap in current understanding of limits in flood risk reduction in CEE countries by analysing the current research on flood risk perception. We reviewed 19 studies published between 1990 and 2014 that were analysed regarding determinants of flood risk perception and the role of individual and public involvement in flood risk reduction. Although the research agenda itself seems to reflect the current trends in Western Europe, the results display significant differences. Based on our analysis, we argue that the path dependencies in flood risk perception in CEE countries results in a “thin” concept of flood risk reduction. This concept can be characterized by (a) considering risk reduction as a temporary event rather than a process, (b) a reductionist view on risk reduction measures with prevailing financial tools and (c) strong reliance upon the regional and national authorities in terms of both the risk communication and prevention measures. This gives an impetus for further research on tailor-made strategies to overcome these limits and facilitate the implementation of the European Flood Directive.


Flood Risk perception Public involvement Central-Eastern European Countries 



This research was supported by Project Eupro II No. LE14010 “CrossFloods” under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. I am greatly indebted to Petr Dostál, whose inspiring comments helped to shape the early idea of this research. The authors would like to thank language editing services for English style revisions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad LabemUsti Nad LabemCzech Republic

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