APE Seminar | EU priorities and support for investments in the water sector

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APE and its Working Group “Tariffs and assets management” organized a seminar on “EU priorities and support for investments in the water sector”, which took place on the 8th March 2013 in Brussels. The objective of this seminar was to give an overview of the EU strategy and instruments to promote investments in the water sector and provide concrete advice on how to access EU financial support, in particular under the programmes managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Thanks to the participation of high level speakers from the European Commission (Ariane de Dominicis and Henriette Faergemann from DG Environment) and the EIB (Pierre-Emmanuel Noel, Senior Banker, Infrastructure, Utilities & Public Sector Division), the seminar provided useful insights into the overall approach of the European Union to water-sector funding. The Commissions’ representatives examined the rationales and expectations behind the EU strategy for the water sector, while the speaker from the EIB outlined tools and conditions to access EIB funding.

A fruitful exchange of views among participants and speakers also helped to identify common bottlenecks from a European perspective, and contributed to exploring possible common solutions. The debate in particular highlighted the importance of the institutional set-up (at regional and national level) as regards the possibility for public operators to easily access EIB loans. Having guarantees from institutional bodies and the possibility to assess the financial risk appeared as two essential conditions for the EIB to provide a loan.

The contributions from APE members that have already benefited from EIB loans were particularly useful to understand how to better approach the EIB, as well as the pros and cons of benefiting from EIB support. Overall, the EIB stood out as a key actor to support investments in the water sector and specifically in the public water sector.

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Download the presentations from CILE, Vivaqua and SPGE to see experiences and feedback on EIB funding from a water operator’s perspective.

Download the presentation from the EIB.

Download the presentation from the Commission on the "Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources".

Click to download the programme.