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Distributional effects of flood risk management—a cross-country comparison of preflood compensation

Willemijn J. van Doorn-Hoekveld, Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, Utrecht University School of Law, The Netherlands
Susana B. Goytia, Luleċ University of Technology, Sweden
Cathy Suykens, KU Leuven, Belgium
Stephen Homewood, Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University London, England
Thomas Thuillier, Public Law, University François-Rabelais of Tours (France); Laboratory LERAP EA 2108
Corinne Manson, Public Law, University François-Rabelais of Tours (France)
Piotr J. Chmielewski, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Piotr Matczak, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland; Institute of Sociology, Adam Mickiewicz University
Helena F.M.W van Rijswick, Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, Utrecht University School of Law, The Netherlands

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-08648-210426

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Abstract

We seek to examine the manner in which either the EU member states of France, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden or parts of them, such as the country of England in the UK or the Flemish Region in Belgium, deal with the distributional effects of the flood risk management strategies prevention, defense, and mitigation. Measures carried out in each of these strategies can cause preflood harm, as in the devaluation of property or loss of income. However, different member states and authorities address this harm in different ways. A descriptive overview of the different compensation regimes in the field of flood risk management is followed by an analysis of these differences and an explanation of what may cause them, such as the geographical differences that lead to differences in the way that they interfere with private rights and the dominant legal principles that underlie compensation regimes. An elaborated compensation regime could lead to more equitable and legitimate flood risk management because the burdens are fairly spread and all interests—including those of injured parties—are considered in the decision-making process. Our aim is to stimulate the hardly existent discussion on the financial harm that is caused by measures to prevent floods (preflood), in addition to the already existing discussion on the ex post flood distributional effects.

Key words

defense; égalité devant les charges publiques; equity; flood risk management; legitimacy; loss; no-fault liability; preflood compensation; prevention; protection of property rights; solidarity; spatial planning

Copyright © 2016 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087