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Be aware of the latest news, events and ongoing projects.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CoR Opinion on “The Role of Regional and Local Authorities in Promoting Sustainable Water Management” in the ENVE Commission on 5th May

The draft opinion titled “The Role of Regional and Local Authorities in Promoting Sustainable Water Management”, presented by the rapporteur Mr. Nichi Vendola, the President of the Puglia Region, will be discussed for the second time at the 8th meeting of the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) on Thursday, 5th May 2011.

The draft opinion was presented and discussed for the first time in the ENVE Commission on 14th February 2011. After the presentation it was opened for comments and amendments, which will be under discussion on 5th May 2011. Document’s final adoption is foreseen for 30th June-1st July on the CoR plenary session.

More information: https://toad.cor.europa.eu/CORAgendas.aspx?body=ENVE-V

Friday, April 8, 2011

U@MARENOSTRUM - eParticipation Results

The online discussion between citizens and public authorities of the participating regions was initiated with the launch of the platforms. The Greek platform hosted by IonR was launched on January 2010, while the Spanish platform hosted by the Valencia Region on April 2010.

With the end of the project in March 2011 the U@MARENOSTRUM final eParticipation results are encouraging and indicate that:

On both platforms 1883 registered users have participated in the Forum with 1313 posted arguments, on 120 environmental topics connected to 21 Public Consultations regarding water protection and management in the Mediterranean.

For both regions most popular tool is the Forum. The most popular Forum topic in the Greek platform was “The most important predator in danger ...” (“Ο σπουδαιότερος θηρευτής κινδυνεύει...”) with 4785 visits. The most popular Forum topic in the Spanish platform was “Overfishing, an issue of concern in the Mediterranean” (“Sobrepesca, un tema de preocupación en el Mediterráneo”) with 1336 visits.

Moreover, registered users participated in the platform with 228 markers overall on the interactive maps, 1005 electronic signatures overall on the 3 ePetitions hosted on the platforms, 619 answers overall in 6 online surveys, while 22 Electronic Letters have been sent to Officials of IonR by citizen-users (no electronic letters were sent to Officials of the Valencia Region by citizen-users).

The online petition tool and the survey tool are the second and third favourite tools, while the interactive map tool is the fourth most well-liked. Less popular tool is the Letters to Officials. To view the U@MARENOSTRUM platforms click on the links bellow:

For further information regarding the project and its activities please visit the informational website of the project at: www.uatmarenostrum.eu.

U@MARENOSTRUM - Project’s Final Results

The Consortium of the U@MARENOSTRUM project is announcing the end of the project.

The project was specifically designed in the guidelines of the eParticipation Call for Proposals 2008 and was co-funded by the European Commission. The project was developed between 1st of January 2009- 31st of March 2011 by cooperation of the following entities: : GFI Benelux, Gov2u (Greece), The Region of Ionian Islands (Greece), Hellenic Centre for Marine Research– Greece, Foundation Comunidad Valenciana-Región Europea (Spain), and Directorate General for Modernization of Valencia (Spain).

U@MARENOSTRUM aimed to facilitate the development of an online dialogue between citizens and official representatives of the participating regions on issues regarding water protection and management in the Mediterranean. Participating regions in the project were the Ionian Islands Region (Greece), and the Valencia Region (Spain).

The main objective of U@MARENOSTRUM was to contribute in the enhancement of citizens’ engagement with the political process via their active participation in the decision-making in local, regional, national and European level. Simultaneously it intended to foster environmental democracy via public participation utilizing state-of-the-art ICT tools. The project involved two collaborative platforms one for each participating region, through which citizen-users were able to express their views and concerns regarding environmental issues that deal with the maritime environment in the Mediterranean and to discuss with other citizen-users and their official representatives on these issues.

U@MARENOSTRUM combined unique ICT tools such as forum, GIS map, electronic letters, ePetitions and eSurveys, for citizens to be able to voice their opinion regarding water issues in their region. These tools offer the possibility for users to discuss with other citizens as well as their representatives from the participating regions on issues that affect citizens’ everyday life and are related to water.

For further information regarding the project and its activities please visit the informational website of the project at: http://www.uatmarenostrum.eu/

Participation in the MED Programme

In the Fundación Comunidad Valenciana - Región Europea (FCVRE) we’d like to show you the interest of the Valencian stakeholders in participating in the MED call, which has recently opened the following priorities:

Reopening of the call on programme objective 2.

- Objective 2.3: 'Prevention of maritime risks and strengthening of maritime safety'

Call for strategic projects on priority axis 3.

- Objective 3.1 'Improvement of maritime accessibility and transit capacity'

- Objective 3.2 'Support of the use of information technology for better accessibility and territorial cooperation'

In the FCVRE we work as an active partner to facilitate the creation of European consortiums and spread Valencian initiatives among European regions through active networking. We kindly ask you to count on us if you’re willing to submit a project proposal to this call, and you’re interested in involving any Valencian entity which would provide the expected input. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any queries you may have:

Elena Pertegaz Álvarez. Fundación Comunidad Valenciana - Región Europea. Edmond Mesens, 7a - B-1040 Bruxelles/Brussel. Tel: +32 2 282 41 60, Fax: +32 2 282 41 61. epertegaz@delcomval.be

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

European Water Forum Seminar: "Water and Forest - The Relationship with the Mediterranean Region"

MEP Cristina Gutierrez-Cortines, as president of the European Water Forum (http://www.europeanwaterforum.com/) will host a meeting entitled 'Water and Forest - The Relationship with the Mediterranean Region' on Tuesday March 15th from 16.00-18.00 in the European Parliament in Brussels (Room JAN 6Q1).

Draft programme:

Prof. Millán MILLAN
Member of the External Advisory Group on Global Change & Ecosystems of the 6th FP
Executive Director Fundación CEAM
(Mediterranean Environmental Studies Centre - www.gva.es/ceam)

Mr Michael HAMELL
Head of Unit B1 - Agriculture, Forests and Soil
DG Environment

Mr Friedrich BARTH
European Water Partnership

For any questions and to RSVP, please contact: aisling.fenton@europarl.europa.eu

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform Survey on “The role of regional and local authorities in promoting sustainable water policy”

To address the challenges of water scarcity and drought, water policy must promote efficient and sustainable management of water resources and the local and regional authorities have a role to play in this context.

As the European Commission will carry out a review of EU water policy by 2012 as part of the "Resource Efficiency" Flagship Initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy, the Committee of the Regions will adopt an Outlook Opinion on "The role of regional and local authorities in promoting a sustainable water policy" at its plenary session in June 2011, as requested by the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (Rapporteur: Mr. Nichi Vendola, IT/PES).

To contribute to the preparation of the CoR Opinion, and to feed into the second CoR Monitoring Report on Europe 2020 (to be published in December 2011), the CoR's Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform asks to participate in a survey by answering some questions by 4 March 2011 at the latest in any official EU language, at europe2020@cor.europa.eu.

The survey document and the questions can be found here:

Outlook Opinion on “The role of regional and local authorities in promoting sustainable water policy”

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has been drafting an Outlook Opinion requested by the Hungarian EU Presidency on “The role of regional and local authorities in promoting sustainable water policy”.

The Rapporteur on the opinion, Mr. Nichi Vendola, Member of the ENVE Commission of the CoR and the President of the Region of Apulia (IT), presented the working document during the ENVE Commission's seventh meeting, held at the Committee building on Monday, 14 February 2011. It was followed by statements by Mr. István Kling, State Secretary for Water, Ministry of Rural Development of Hungary, and Mr. Peter Gammeltoft, Head of Water Unit, DG Environment, European Commission, and an exchange of views, as well. The first discussion and adoption of the draft opinion by the Commission is foreseen on 5 May 2011 whereas the final adoption of the CoR is expected at the plenary session of 30 June and 1 July 2011.

The day after, 15 February 2011, the President of the Region of Apulia and his expert, Mr. Umberto Fratino, met with representatives of the associations of local and regional authorities and other stakeholders for a public consultation and exchange of views on his opinion, at the premises of the CoR. The consultation focused on a set of questions that were identified in the request by the Hungarian Presidency:

• How to put the water cycle at the heart of European to local level adaptation to climate change?
• How to address water scarcity by balancing water demand, supply and in particular ecosystem needs, and by considering issues such as introducing targets for water saving and water quantity management in line with Water Framework Directive? How to manage extreme water events in a more integrated manner, by seeking new types of interventions?
• With regard to governance issues: What conclusions do local and regional authorities draw form the first series of river basin management plans? Which role local and regional authorities can play in strengthening of international cooperation within river basins?
• How the EU and the Member States can and should provide support to local and regional authorities in the above-mentioned fields?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Valencian Region and Saxony-Anhalt will collaborate in the field of water management

The Head of the Valencian regional directorate for water affairs, José María Benlliure, and the Director General of the Agua y Progreso (Water and Progress) foundation, José Alberto Comos, met on Wednesday 28th July with the minister for Agriculture and Environment of the German region Saxony-Anhalt, as well as with the Mayor of the German city of Halle, in order to sign a joint agreement.

This agreement will allow mutual collaboration and the exchange of experiences and good practices in the field of water management, particularly in aspects such as water supply, irrigation, flood prevention and wastewater treatment.

Mr. Benlliure said that the agreement is very positive for the interests of the Valencian Region, because the regional authorities of Saxony-Anhalt "are very experienced in managing water transfers and ensuring an adequate supply of drinking water to all the households in the region".

He also stated: "Considering the acute water scarcity which affects the Valencian Region, and despite the efforts deployed to treat and reuse wastewater as well as to modernise irrigation systems, the Valencian Region needs a water transfer from those basins with a larger amount of water than needed, like the one that has been built between the Tajo and Segura rivers or the plan to transfer the water surplus of the Ebro river".

Mr. Benlliure asserted that, through this agreement, both regions would learn experiences from each other. "This way, the Valencian Region will have the opportunity to benefit from German knowledge in water transfers and supply, and the Germans will learn from the Valencian know-how in the field of water treatment".

Joint participation in European projects
The agreement between the Valencian Region and Saxony-Anhalt also includes several measures designed to foster joint participation in European projects for interregional cooperation as well as the exchange of ideas and information about water supply and water transfer strategy.

The document also foresees the beginning of several joint projects in the fields of water management, climate change and renewable energies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

EFIAQUA: International Fair for Water Efficiency

The first edition of the International Fair for Water Efficiency "EFIAQUA" will be hosted in Valencia (Spain) from the 16th-18th of febrary in the frame of the so called "Environment Fairs" that gathers apart from EFIAQUA, Ecofira and Egética, the first one on environmental technologies and the second on energy efficiency technologies.
According to the statutes of EFIAQUA's steering committee, composed by representatives from private sectorial organizations, valencian universities and public bodies, the Fair aims to offer a new format in which innovation and education will be the main axes.
The addressed sectors will mainly be related to captation and water treatment, supply and distribution, flood control, coastal protection, funding of projects and training of specialized press.
More information on the website of Feria Valencia: http://feria.feriavalencia.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CLIMATE - KIC "Making a step-change in Europe's innovation capacity to meet the climate change challenge"

What is the CLIMATE - KIC?
The Climate - KIC (www.climate-kic.org) is one of the three knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) designated by the European institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), with a budget of 765 million Euros for the next four years. This initiative focuses on achieving excellence in four areas related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, highlighting the area on ADAPTATIVE WATER MANAGEMENT.
The CLIMATE - KIC consortium consists of 16 core partners, five from the academic side, one Regional Innovation and Implementation Community (RIC) which consists of Valencian Region (Spain), Central Hungary (Hungary), Lower Silesia (Poland), West Midlands (UK), Hessen (Germany) and Emilia Romagna (Italy), and ten enterprises from the corporate world.
First Wave Research and Innovation Projects of the Climate-KIC
An open call for full proposals was scheduled on May 21-2010, for funding of research and innovation projects, with a deadline on August 6-2010 although it has not been published on the Climate-KIC portal yet. A full proposal can be submitted in this period although an Expression of Interest was not previously submitted.
Four focus programmes have been identified including ADAPTATIVE WATER MANAGEMENT.
In the web portal details are given on how to submit an expression on interest which could help you to prepare a full proposal for this next call. The funding requested may be maximal 25% of the funding supplied by the Consortium.
NEW - Pioneers into Practice Programme - Expressions of Interest Call 2010/2011 - NEW
Climate - KIC is launching an exciting knowledge development programme called Pioneers into Practice, with the aim of producing a new generation of specialists, entrepreneurs and policy-makers with high-level skills for the loe carbon transition.
Participants will be required to undertake three-one month placements over a twelve-month period. The first and final placements will be in the participants regions of origin whereas the second one will take place in one of the other European regions involved in the RIC.
Participants will be required to complete a project-assignment, focused on a low carbon living and low carbon mobility initiatives, during each placement.
The last two days of each placement will allow participants to take part in intensive workshops known as "Crucibles" and every participant froma cross the six regions will also attend the Innovation festival in June in Budapest.
Overview on the activities and timetable:

Entry to the programme is open to people living, working or studying in each region, with a deadline on June 18th 2010.
Participants will receive 9.000 euros for participating in the programmme, which in most instances will be made to their employer or place of study, as well as the attendance to the annual Innovation Festival.
Further information on participation is available from the Pioneers into Practice Manager in your region or at: mirun@delcomval.be