Tomas Michel, President’s editorial
Dear Water Europe family,
Water Innovation Europe 2021 is approaching quickly, and we are quite excited and in anticipation of yet another interesting, great and attractive event! The event’s agenda has almost taken its final shape, featuring among many other relevant speakers, Virginijus Sinkevicius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries and João Paulo Fernandes, Portuguese Minister for Environment. Water Innovation Europe, still a fully digital event in 2021, will again cover five days of insightful sessions, side-events, and 3D virtual exhibition booths. Also, one more year, the Innovation Awards will be waiting for you, and provide for competition between and recognition of, most innovative water solutions in 2021.
What else do you expect to join us online? Make sure to register for the most important water event this year and help us to break last year’s incredible record of 500 attendees.
Our Working Groups, the heart and lungs of a very important part of WE intellectual, academic and technological production, are currently in the process of preparing their next bi-annual work plans to be officially presented next month. The Working Groups meetings will start on the 10th of June and will keep running until the 28th of June. In parallel, six collaborative Workshops between our Working Groups and Vision Leadership Teams have been already organised. You can find the full agenda of the conference here.
Within the context of Water Innovation Europe, Water Europe board elections will also be taking place during the Annual General Assembly which will take place on the 18th of June. Water Europe’s membership is organised in different membership colleges, representing different segments of the water ecosystem. These are in turn grouped together in corporate members and associate members. Each college of the corporate members is represented in WE Board of Directors with two or more Board seats. Mandates are organized in such a way that they largely overlap, thus a significant part of our Board is up for election and renewal every year.
The actual board has met this month to discuss some important items, among which I would like to highlight the contours and timetable for the next Programming Period for the WE Collaboration Plan and the next steps for the WE strategy on the Water-Oriented Living Labs.
Our advocacy activity saw recently the release of a new position paper on Biodiversity: ‘Biodiversity Strategy: Shared challenges for water and biodiversity conservation’. Water Europe welcomes the nature restoration targets under the EU biodiversity strategy and encourages synergies between different sectors. In this paper, we have particularly identified three areas where more effort is needed to properly sustain the Strategy’s objectives in line with the recommendation of the OECD to finance water-related needs in Europe: enhancing the role of research and innovation, deploying digital means for agile monitoring and prevention, and developing the water-related supporting conditions for biodiversity. Download the full paper.
We are happy to feature in this newsletter an editorial article from MEP Pernille Weiss, Chairman of the MEP Water Group. Yesterday, the MEP Water Group hosted today the event ‘Energy neutrality in the water sector, a water smart objective?’’ with Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy addressing the topic ‘EU policy related to the Water-Energy Nexus’.
Have a great month and see you all at Water Innovation Europe 2021!