In a communication responding to the devastating floods across Europe during August, the European Commission has pledged to provide scientific support for a European flood warning system. The flooding in central Europe reached unprecedented levels. Dozens of people lost their lives, the socio-economic infrastructure of entire regions was disrupted and natural and cultural heritage was damaged. Preliminary estimates indicate damage amounting to 15 billion euro in Germany, two billion in Austria, between two and three billion in the Czech Republic and up to 35 million in Slovakia. The European flood warning system will provide information on the main European basins with real time access to medium term meteorological forecasts. In the longer term, the Commission believes that the floods should initiate reflection in Europe on whether human intervention contributed to these exceptional climatic conditions, in particular through high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and inadequate land use and water management policies.