The “European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership Countries” (EUWI+ 4 EaP) was initiated by the European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Directorate General (DG NEAR) of the European Commission for a 4-year duration (2016-2020). It aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union and its six Eastern neighbouring countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and support them to align their water policies with the general principles and requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).
The project addresses existing challenges in both development and implementation of efficient management of water resources. It specifically supports the EaP countries to move towards the approximation to EU acquis in the field of water management with a focus on trans-boundary river basins management as identified by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and other thematic and sectoral European Directives on water.
IOWater provides support to water authorities of the 6 countries, and coordinates the various French public bodies in the water sector on behalf of the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy and the Sea with a view to achieve the following 3 targets by the end of the project:
1- Legal and regulatory framework improved in line with the WFD, IWRM and Multilateral Environmental Agreements.
2- River Basin Management Plans designed and implemented in line with the WFD principles.
3- Lessons learnt are regularly collected, shared and communicated to stakeholders.
This work is carried out under the auspices of the Austrian Environmental Agency, leader of the consortium of Member States, in charge of groundwater monitoring and support to laboratory accreditation. In addition UNECE and OECD lead the inter-ministerial process of National Dialogues base on two separate contracts.
IOWater is involved in project management and know-how transfer focusing on institutional analysis, implementation of activities on pilot basins, development and implementation of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs), including stakeholder participatory mechanisms on each scale (basin, national, international) and shared data management.