PSE1&2 | Welcome & Strategic Lectures: Europe and droughts & Honouring 2023 Awardees
Welcome & Strategic Lectures: Europe and droughts & Honouring 2023 Awardees
Convener: Bert Holtslag | Co-conveners: Dick Blaauboer, Martina Junge
| Mon, 04 Sep, 16:00–19:00 (CEST)|Lecture room B1.02
Mon, 16:00
This welcome session will address different aspects of the conference topic: Europe and droughts: Hydrometeorological processes, forecasting and preparedness. In addition, we will honour all 2023 awardees at this EMS Annual Meeting. All our awardees will present their work during the event in Bratislava.

Welcome & addresses will be given by the following organisations & representatives:

  • Bert Holtslag, EMS President
  • Paulína Valová, Slovak Meteorological Society, President 
  • Milan Chrenko, Minister of Environment of Slovak Republic
  • Martin Benko, Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Director
  • Daniel Ševčovič, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics  and Informatics of Comenius University
  • Dennis Schulze, Professional Trade Association for meteorological service providers (PRIMET), Chairman
  • Stella Kafka, AMS Executive Director
  • Scott Sheridan, International Society of Biometeorology President

Solicited speakers of Strategic Lectures:

Sabina Bokal & Anna Smetanová will give the presentation together.
Sabina Bokal  is the interim Regional Coordinator of Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe and the lead of Integrated Drought Management Programme Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP CEE). She has supported participatory development and implementation of IDMP pillars across CEE countries and has contributed to development of strong cooperation with IDMP Global (coordinated by WMO and GWP). She co-developed the Danube Drought Strategy and led development of the Drought communication guidelines. She is passionate about mountains, water, and drought-resilient landscapes. 
Anna Smetanová is strategic project manager in Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe and she co-leads the Integrated Drought Management Programme Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP CEE) programme. She is specialist in multiscale management impacts on water related hazards and landscape processes, and expert in knowledge transfer, change management, and capacity building. She has led knowledge transfer on IDMP from CEE to Caucasus and Balkan countries via empowerment of local expert communities for drought related action. She supports the resilience building by gender and social inclusion, and science-art co-operation for enhancing the societal transformation.    

Spyros Afentoulidis is the team leader of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre’s (ERCC) Analytical Team in DG ECHO, European Commission. During the last 10 years he has been working in the civil protection and emergency management field from different positions within DG ECHO as well as in the EU delegation to Serbia. He has an educational background on Civil engineering and European studies and, as a Greek, he likes storytelling.

Presentation of EMS and Tromp Foundation Awards

  • EMS Outstanding Poster Award 2022
  • EMS Young Scientist Conference Awards
  • EMS Young Scientist Award 2023
  • Tromp Foundation Travel Awards for young scientists
  • EMS Technology Achievement Award
  • EMS Outstanding Contribution Award

EMS Silver Medal Ceremony 

  • Introduction, Laudation by Beth Ebert, presentation of the medal & certificate
  • EMS Silver Medal Lecture by Sarah Jones: “Early Career Scientists and how they shape our world"

 Harry Otten Prize 2023

  • Pam Emch will introduce the Harry Otten Prize
  • Harry Otten will reveal the winner of the 2023 prize

Session assets

Orals: Mon, 4 Sep | Lecture room B1.02

Chairperson: Bert Holtslag
Strategic Lecture 1
Onsite presentation
Sabina Bokal and Anna Smetanova

The experience of Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe through the Integrated Drought Management Programme

The topics that will be covered in this strategic lecuture are:

  • Droughts in a changing environment
  • Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP)
  • IDMP activities in Central and Easter Europe (managing drought in CEE region)
  • Way forward (based on the IDMP and DriDanube dialogues and Danube drought conference 2021, etc.)

How to cite: Bokal, S. and Smetanova, A.: Towards a Drought Resilient Society, EMS Annual Meeting 2023, Bratislava, Slovakia, 4–8 Sep 2023, EMS2023-646,, 2023.

Strategic Lecture 2
Online presentation
Spyros Afentoulidis

This lecture endeavours to identify the best practices and missing links between scientific input and operational activities during crises in the field of civil protection, looking at the example of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and its operations at a global level.

How to cite: Afentoulidis, S.: Connecting the dots: bringing science at the heart of the European emergency management coordination, EMS Annual Meeting 2023, Bratislava, Slovakia, 4–8 Sep 2023, EMS2023-691,, 2023.


Additional speakers

  • Sarah Jones, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Germany
  • Elizabeth Ebert, Bureau of Meteorology , Australia