The 1st Steering Committee meeting of the 2017-2020 “European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership” project (EUWI+ East) took place on 15 - 16 May 2017 in Brussels.
The meeting chaired by the European Commission brought together high-level officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, representing Partner countries, and implementing partners – OECD, UNECE and the consortium of the Member States (Austria and France).
This meeting marks the end of the inception phase of the project. Launched in September 2016 with duration of 4 years, the EUWI+ East project will provide support to development of a long-term vision of water sector reforms in the Partner countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. UNECE and OECD will assist the Partner countries in modernizing their water legislation, developing cooperation with neighbouring countries on transboundary rivers and updating national water and health targets, while the EU Member States consortium will bring experience and know-how to support WFD compliant sector management.
Participants shared their experience and aspirations for the programme in addressing challenges faced with regard to water sector reform, in particular to harmonizing the respective national water policies and practices with relevant EU directives.
Based on the key baseline findings of the inception phase the EUWI + East team has presented the key challenges, trends, alignment opportunities and capacity development needs, both from national and regional perspective.
The six national work plans, based on the country priorities and developed in collaboration with the Partner countries, were presented. The Steering Committee members provided feedback and agreed on the national work plans and other element of the project work programme. The resulting recommendations and guidelines will be taken into account in the next steps of the project implementation.