Tomas Michel, President’s editorial
Dear Water Europe family,
What would have been standard news representing business as usual, is likely to become in hindsight an important milestone in Water Europe’s history. Water Europe is getting ready for its next Board meeting, happening at the end of October in Athens. The good news and milestone are connected to the fact that this will be the first post-COVID presential meeting! As I have stated so many times, for an organization like ours based on collaboration the opportunity to meet and interact in person is essential.
Among the most important items on the agenda will be the renewal of its Vision Leadership Teams (VLTs) for the term 2021-2023. The Vision Leadership Teams (VLTs) are the strategic think tanks of Water Europe that have as a main mission to drive the progressive implementation of the WE Water Vision “The Value of Water” and the achievement of a European Water-Smart Society.
Also, Water Knowledge Europe in its 2021 autumn edition, this time dedicated to the Horizon Europe R&I Programme, has been scheduled for 9-10 November and our firm intention is to make this also a physical edition of Water Knowledge Europe with an afternoon session, networking dinner, and morning session. The Water Europe Working Groups will remain digital.
Water Europe has recently released two position papers on “Recognizing the Value of Water in the new EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles” and on “National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs): An opportunity for a Water-Smart Society”. Water Europe is now publishing our view on water within the ‘Taxonomy report on the technical screening criteria’. In its objective to scale up sustainable investment, the EU taxonomy must consider the benefits to foster a European Water-Smart Society in which the economic activities prevent water scarcity and pollution of water and deploy water circular processes, making them water-smart and sustainable. The taxonomy report is an excellent opportunity to have an impact and realize our Vision.
Further on Water Europe´s Advocacy programme, and following the Water Innovation Europe 2021 conference, Water Europe established meetings with the French General Secretariat for European Affairs (SGAE) and the permanent representations of Italy and Denmark to share and discuss the event’s conclusions. With regards to the next presidential trio of the European Commission, Water Europe exchanged views with France on water challenges, concerning mainly agriculture and the environment. The meetings with Italy and Denmark revolved around issues regarding qualitative and quantitative water management. Follow-up meetings will be scheduled in the coming period.
In this edition of our newsletter, we are happy to feature an interview with Andrej Vizjak, Slovenian Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning who talks to us about the priorities of the EU Slovenian Presidency, the new climate target, and the transition to a post-COVID society, as well as Europe’s strongest tools to realise a Water-Smart Society.
We are glad to steer towards “back to normal” again, cautious and conscient that COVID is still out there, the virus has brought us good and bad things, as well as new ways to work and to be more efficient! Being now able to start to meet again in person can only add to the experience gained. It will be a pleasure, as usual, to accompany you along this journey!