Tomas Michel, President’s Editorial
Dear Water Europe family,
I sincerely hope that 2021 will be a much better year than 2020. That should not be so difficult. I also ambition that we will be able, albeit in months still to come, to start to meet again in person, which is one of our platform’s nice and rewarding characteristics.
Water Europe is all about coming together, collaborating, getting the job done, and letting the rest of the world know of the centrality and importance of water. 2021 will see many familiar and but also new WE activities and events, along with our new digital tweaks.
We are in the process of organising the Water Knowledge Europe 2021 spring edition, to fit with the new Calls for Proposals of the Horizon Europe (HEU) R&I FP, which this time will also include two well-known modules, Water Market Europe & Water Projects Europe. This new format is ideal for fostering the market outreach of innovative solutions and policy developments for a Water-Smart Europe. The event’s main programme will take place from the 23rd to the 26th of March digitally, while pre-event webinars on the most interesting groups of Calls for Proposals will be starting from the 2nd of February.
In the meantime, our community is already in full swing. A first well-attended online meeting of our WG Industrial Water Reuse took place this month with the European Commission’s participation to exchange on the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). The good news is that Water Europe has been accepted as a stakeholder representing the water sector in the art 13 Forum of the IED.
Also, of your interest, our vertical Vision Leadership Teams have already met twice this year to discuss their next actions regarding Water-Oriented Living Labs, and online Working Group meetings will be held from the 15th of March and during the main Water Knowledge Europe 2021 week.
Trying to cope with new BREXIT conditions, the European Union and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement on Trade and Cooperation, which we welcome. However, as we see it, the EU seems to have missed yet another opportunity to place water at the level of importance it deserves, this time omitting in this new trade and cooperation agreement to set new standards regarding virtual water imports and exports, thus not fully considering the Value of Water. Beyond not recognizing the Value of Water, we still have work to do, EU business and an adequate competitive environment are at stake. Water Europe addressed this issue in its new position paper ‘Brexit Deal – A missed opportunity to make European trade agreement Water-Smart’.
I am very fond of this month’s interview because innovation is and should always be, the ultimate destination of all we do and defend. We have the pleasure to feature a video with our 2020 Award winners who talk to us about their progress and developments since they were awarded during Water Innovation Europe 2020 last June.
Let 2021 be friendlier to all of you and your loved ones. Water is our craft and job. Let’s keep the spirits high, take care and …stay healthy.