On the EU Water Blueprint Conference 2012 different stakeholders, member states, and the European Commission discussed the implementation of the policy proposals of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources. Also available are key findings in five other languages.
EU water policy has successfully contributed to water protection over the past three decades. However, the EU still faces many challenges. Additional efforts are needed to preserve and improve our waters.
The EU Water Blueprint Conference, jointly organised on 26 and 27 November 2012 by the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, held a debate between different stakeholders, Member States, and the European Commission on the implementation of the policy proposals of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources.
Key messages included the following:
- The policy proposals of the Blueprint are wide-ranging. There is a need to step up actions and carry out joint work at all levels in order to get closer to attaining the goal set by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for good water status. The Blueprint options are not one size fits all and the aim is to help direct efforts and actions where they are most needed.
- The 1st River Basin Management Plans showed an impressive improvement of knowledge, an increase in transparency and a larger inclusion of ecological perspectives into EU water management. Nonetheless, there are areas where further efforts are needed to improve implementation (e.g. monitoring, chemical status, hydromorphology, over-use, exemptions and analysis of the cost of water use). There is also a need to better define measures, and to this end, we need a better understanding of the cost of inaction and costs/benefits of selected measures, as well as a consistent planning process.
- More policy integration is needed, in particular in the agricultural field. This is critical and can only be achieved through greater coherence between water policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In this respect, the ongoing negotiations on the reform of the CAP are crucial.
- The EU legislative framework on water is comprehensive and there are only a few gaps left to fill, e.g. in relation to water re-use.
Videos of each speech are available in the Ecologic Institute You Tube Channel.
A summary of the key messages can be accessed in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish. The summary [pdf, 1.1 MB, English] report of the conference is available for download.