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3rd Aquawareness Stakeholder meeting enriched by workshop “Water for Integration” and Partnership agreement with the EEA


01 Oct 2009


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

28 September, Workshop “Water for Integration – Integration for Water”. The 3rd Aquawareness stakeholder meeting received input by the European Workshop “Water for Integration – Integration for Water” organized by the Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE) in cooperation with European Partnership (EWP) in Brussels. Participants from science, European institutions, research funding agencies and the private sector discussed about the requirements and barriers of integrated water research and concluded on how these challenges can be addressed in future and how to facilitate an open exchange between science and policy.

They called on politicians for forcing integrated research in the water sector, on researchers for launching joint initiatives and for looking behind the water cycle as Thomas Kluge from the ISOE pointed out in his closing remark. With regard to policy, the discussion revealed the urgent needs for strengthening adequate funding schemes or joint calls for integrated research; transparent quality criteria; an intermediate platform between science, decision makers and stakeholders; and taking account for already existing knowledge and better knowledge sharing.

For more information about the workshop visit 29 September, Partnership agreement EWP-EEA The European Water Partnership and the have announced today a new strategic cooperation to improve water use in Europe. The breakfast reception “Finding the right climate to account for Europe’s water” was opened by introductory speeches of Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA, and Mr. Tom Vereijken, Chairman of the EWP. “To be truly effective and relevant, environmental policy must be developed together with the actors who will work with it.

For the water area, this means involving those who actually use, distribute and treat water such as agriculture, water utilities, industries, the energy or transport sector. This cooperation with EWP and its partners is a crucial step for us in that direction” said Professor Jacqueline McGlade.

Mr. Tom Vereijken remarked that “it is important to show that we have a water problem in Europe and this has to be documented with consistent data. The EWP is upfront working on concrete issues and this cooperation with the EEA will strengthen our commitment to share and disseminate data on the current status of water issues in Europe”. He also stressed that “this cooperation will not be a partnership between two parties only, but a partnership to other partners as well”, thus underlining that many other stakeholders will be involved in and benefit from this cooperation. Around 35 representatives of different organizations attended this breakfast reception held in the premises of EWP offices in Brussels. To see the press release of the EEA on the event please click here. 29 September, 3rd Aquawareness stakeholder meeting About 40 representatives of NGO’s, research, business, regions, EU Institutions and others attended this workshop focussing on the latest developments of the Water Awareness and Water Stewardship Programmes. Fruitful discussions and inputs aroused from the debate which followed the interventions of selected speakers.

The EWP Chairman Fritz Barth stressed “the importance of collecting timely and correct data regarding water in Europe, as a crucial starting point for any discussion”. For Prof. Jacqueline McGlade from EEA “when it comes to water there’s nothing off the table, everything’s on the table”. She also stressed that a “sustainable demand-led approach is required to managing Europe’s water resources”.

Sergiy Moroz from WWF noticed that “regrettably, water pricing have not become a tool to achieve efficiency yet”. He called upon an “urgent implementation of WFD”, crucial as well to “restore more space for rivers”. Juan Manuel Revuelta from Valencia Region gave the regional perspective. While recalling that “many Mediterranean regions are experiencing creeping desertification” he informed the audience that “there are already ad hoc legislations in place to face the emergency”.

Brigitte Dittrich Kraemer from BASF reminded that “water is and will always be crucial for business and growth”, and that business can help to overcome the water crises by improving its water efficiency and by developing products for a sustainability water use.




  Thomas Kluge from ISOE brought some key statements from the workshop of yesterday: “only integrative approaches can produce innovation and added values”, and that “policy and science interaction it’s the way to fill the gap of information”.




Andrea Nam from the EU Commission admitted that “despite the recent released White paper, water is not enough emphasised in policy”. She added that “subsidies should be more linked to water efficiency criteria and all sectors should carry the burden.” MEP Cristina Gutierrez-Cortines provocatively argued that “the best thing can happen is a disaster, because droughts and floods will awaken Europeans regarding water challenges”. She added that “information is priority and we have to put facts and figures on the table of politicians”.



Annika Nilsson from the Swedish Ministry stated that “Aquawareness is the right step to achieve the Vision” and “it is absolutely necessary to reach out the general public”. A full report of the workshop will be shortly available on


European Affairs Consulting Group (Eacon)
EU Public Affairs Trainee
International Commission of Jurists - European Institutions
Programme Manager
Terre des Hommes International Federation
Child and Youth Participation Advisor (Environment & Climate)
KIOS Foundation
Team leader
European Parliament, office of MEP Siegfried Mureșan
Accredited Parliamentary Assistant, office of MEP Siegfried Mureșan
Specialised Nutrition Europe
Communications & Public Affairs Trainee