Hans Goossens, President’s Editorial, September 2023


Dear Water Europe members,

The summer break may already feel like a distant memory, given the numerous activities we’ve all embarked upon since the beginning of this September. Among them, the first to mention is the release of our Manifesto, which calls upon European policymakers to adopt a Water-Smart strategy with strong political accountability. This is especially timely, considering the upcoming European elections next year. As a Belgian, I also find this timing particularly good, with Belgium set to take over the presidency of the EU Council in 2024, following Spain.

Last month, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission delivered the 2023 State of the Union speech, in which she made reference on restoring the balance between industry, agriculture and nature. At the middle of this triangle, we found none other than water. It is the bridge that unites our activities in every domain of our society, showcasing the need to build a Water-Smart Society.

Speaking of the centrality of water, earlier this month, a group of Members of the European Union issued a letter with the European Economic and Social Committee to call for an EU Blue Deal. On 26 October 2023, the European Economic and Social Committee will present its Call for an EU Blue Deal to the EU institutions and stakeholders. Water Europe has already voiced its recommendations to the EU Blue Deal dossier, which can be found in this position paper.

In our efforts to promote the Water-Smart Society, Water Europe has also partnered with SIWI and other stakeholders to co-organize the Water and Climate Change Pavilion during COP28 this December. Meanwhile, we are fast approaching our Water Knowledge Europe event, scheduled to take place in Brussels in less than a month. Together with the networking sessions, B2B meetings and everything that Water Knowledge Europe has to offer, the info session on the Water KIC is also special opportunity to highlight the importance of the integrated water management and the impact that water has on our society, as a whole.

I look forward to meeting you in two weeks!


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