The “European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership” (EUWI+) held its 2nd Steering Committee meeting on 15 November 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The meeting chaired by the European Commission brought together high-level officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, representing the partner countries, and implementing partners – OECD, UNECE and the consortium of the EU Member States (Austria and France).
This meeting has reviewed progress achieved to date through EUWI+ implementation in terms of benefits for citizens and discussed next steps as the project enters the final two-years stage. Challenges for River Basin Management Planning and implementation based on the principles of the EU Water Framework Directive (EU WFD) in EaP countries and the role of reliable monitoring data have been presented and discussed. In addition, the meeting looked at progress in aligning national water legislation, strategies and the regulatory framework with Integrated Water Resources Management principles and obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).
Participants have shared their vision of results and insights achieved by the EUWI+ on EU WFD implementation in Eastern Partnership countries. They have put forward their experience and future aspirations for the project in addressing challenges for water sector reforms, in particular that of harmonizing respective national water policies and practices with relevant EU directives.
The presentation focused on outputs and outcomes, the key challenges, the status of water reforms, opportunities, and capacity development needs, both from national and regional perspectives.
Also on the agenda was presented the six national work plans for 2019, developed in collaboration with the partner countries. The Steering Committee members were invited to discuss, provide feedback, and agree on national and regional work plans. The resulting recommendations and guidelines will be taken into account in the next steps of the project’s implementation.