The President’s message
Dear Water Europe family,
COVID 19 is not going away and at the time of writing this editorial is hitting Europe hard with a despite expected, very virulent second wave. I hope this editorial finds you all well.
Going digital was an obvious choice for WE to continue delivering value to members. After the still resounding success of the first WIE event this summer, the recent digital edition of Water Knowledge Europe has also concluded very successfully with 240 participants present across the five days of the event.
A full week dedicated to the EU Green Deal Call with our Brokerage event, 53 B2B meetings, 14 Working Group meetings, the launch of our new event series ‘Water Projects Europe’ and one joint WG workshop. Once again, this edition exceeded our expectations not only in terms of participant turnout but also of the interactivity during the sessions. Following this, we have already started the preparations for the next Water Knowledge Europe edition that will be on the new programme Horizon Europe 2021 and will be held on the 9-11 and 14-15 of December 2020. While COVID is raging we shall continue to deliver.
And so, do some of our most representative members. During Water Knowledge Europe 2020, a coordination meeting with our 40 Water Europe ambassadors took place. They had the chance to discuss the EU public funding for collaborative research, Water-Oriented Living Labs, as well as the ongoing EU policy developments with those leading our WE Working Groups and Vision Leadership Teams. My and WE’s gratitude for their commitment and dedication.
WE advocacy is also not stopped by COVID 19. This month, together with 25 organisations, Water Europe released a joint statement calling on the EU institutions to enshrine the Human right to Water and Sanitation in EU law. The signatory stakeholders call on European policy-makers to secure better access of the 10 million people who still lack access to safe sanitation services in the EU, stressing that universal access to decent and safe sanitation services is a fundamental need and a human right.
And within this never stopping activity, WE continues its efforts to advocate for the value of water. Over the last weeks, with our partners from the EU Water Alliance, WE had meetings with numerous Commissioners and their cabinets to highlight the importance of this topic. The good news is that the awareness and understanding of the value of water are much higher than 5 years ago when similar discussions with the Commissioners of the previous European Commission were held.
To conclude, we have in this issue the pleasure to feature an exclusive interview with Ms. Schulze, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety who talks to us about the main priorities of the EU German presidency and the role of water in them; how Europe can become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and a lot more. Enjoy the reading.
Stay healthy and…resilient.