WE President editorial – May 2020
Dear Water Europe Family,
I hope you are all doing well. Despite the Coronavirus, despite difficulties and uncertainty, the programme of our Water Innovation Europe 2020 conference is taking shape. We have created a cyberspace environment with a virtual exhibition space and booths, enabling all those who want to demonstrate their projects, products, or services to interact with our conference’s participants through chat, video calls and B2B meetings. Regardless of the conditions, we pledge to always find ways to be innovative in our approach and services, while at the same time consolidating new opportunities, new work, and collaboration tools, as well as service to members.
We continue to make progress in our Advocacy programme, expanding as anticipated and approved, our activities in the direction of policy making, legislative lobbying, and implementation of existing policy and legislation. Our Water Europe positions will always be based on our WE vision and values. We are not only a member-based organisation but also a value-based one. Thus, our criteria to evaluate positions will systematically be societal responsibility, and what is technological and evidence-based achievable, as well as economically feasible. In this regard, Water Europe has set up its new Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) to support the board in its advocacy work. The objective is to stress the need to realise the value of water and achieve a Water Smart Society. The first meeting of our PAC took place on the 13th of May.
This month, the European Water Alliance released its manifesto Opportunity & Necessity for Europe to build a Water-Smart Society and Circular Economy highlighting the pressing water challenges Europe faces and setting out the key actions required to overcome them. Water issues are set to become the most pressing challenge for Europe in the coming years and Europe must get ready to prevent water-related disasters by making our society resilient. Water Europe is part of the EU Water Alliance, the coalition of European members-based organisations representing the wide range of water stakeholders across the entire value chain.
In this issue, we are happy to feature an interview with Dominique Darmendrail, Water JPI Coordinator, in the context of our strong collaboration with Water JPI. Together with our EUWA activities, it is underlined, once again, how collaboration is at the heart of Water Europe not only internally within our Working Groups and collaboration programme but also externally, in the outside world- something which is, of course, rooted in our mission and key values to contribute to solving global water challenges in Europe and beyond.
As always, coinciding with Water Innovation Europe, the Annual General Meeting of Water Europe is going to take place (digitally) on the 24th of June. Besides the annual activity report, and financial standing of WE, important topics covered this year will be a necessary update of our Articles of Association and Bylaws to accommodate to recent changes in Belgian law, the formalization of the use of digital means for meetings, governance and voting procedures, as well as proposed changes to increase membership, improve college management, and operational efficiency. The overall resulting organization which is emerging (Working Group leaders, Vision Leadership Teams, new PAC, two new Vice-presidential figures (total of 3) with specific roles, and a succession scheme (Board, Vice president and President) aimed at securing stability, strategical long view and long term commitment, will all contribute to consolidate and secure for years to come continued service and value to members.
We are water. We are digital. You don´t want to miss it!