European water sector discusses SDGs with EC commissioner
A delegation of the key European water-related organisations have met with Neven Mimica, European commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, to discuss how the EC and the European water sector can collaborate in supporting the inclusion and achievement of the water- related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sustainable management of water is a key challenge for international cooperation and development, including amongst others universal access to drinking water and sanitation. In addition, water appears in a cross-cutting manner across many policy fields such as food security, energy policy, climate change, and extreme events, while at the same 90% of the global economic activity depends on water.
Mimica said: “It is important to have water present as a stand-alone issue in the current formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals while at the same time acknowledge the important presence of water as transversal issue for many of the other SDGs.”
The key priorities for water under the Juncker Commission, released in September last year, provided the basis of the discussion between Mimica and the water sector. Because of its transversal nature, water is well-placed to serve as a vector for the commission’s ambition to cooperate “across portfolios to produce integrated well-grounded and well-explained initiatives”.
Participants also discussed the importance of technological and social innovative solutions, knowledge exchange, as well as partnerships and capacity development. The EU water sector actors can serve as a catalyst for increased cross-sectorial cooperation (e.g. between international cooperation and research).
Over the next few weeks, the water sector will meet with other commissioners to highlight the importance of water in their respective portfolios.
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