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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?