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Aqua Publica Europea | Activity Report 2020

Aqua Publica Europea's Activity Report 2020 is out!

Executive Summary

In the challenging and unprecedented situation that was determined by the Covid-19 outbreak at the beginning of 2020, Aqua Publica Europea proved to be a vibrant community. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of its members, our network was able to promptly organise an intense exchange of information and experiences that, we are confident, helped each operator to fine-tune its response to the emergency.

In addition to facilitating exchanges among members, Aqua Publica Europea also worked on the “communication front”: a series of communication campaigns were lunched to give visibility to the commitment of the public operators and their staff to ensure continuity of water services despite all the difficulties and uncertainties created by the lockdown.

It is therefore a source of great satisfaction the fact that the results of our joint work were then employed and praised by important institutions and stakeholders, including the Executive Director of UN-Habitat and renowned academics working on public services.

If the response to COVID’s emergency absorbed a significant part of our efforts in 2020, Aqua Publica Europea’s activity was certainly not limited to that. With regard to EU policies, the organisation of a seminar together with the European Commission on the joint implementation of the Water Framework Directive and Wastewater Treatment Directive was an important opportunity to provide a contribution to the debate about the revision of these two key pieces of legislation. Drawing on the concrete experience of APE’s members, we showed the importance of increasing the coherence of the policy framework at the EU level, if efficient and fair management of water resources is to be achieved.

This seminar offered a solid basis for a sustained engagement with the European Commission on their revision of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive that continued in 2021. But our advocacy action touched upon also many other subjects at the European and international level, including sludge management, taxonomy, development cooperation with developing countries, the impact of common agriculture policy on water resources, and many others.

Last but not least, at the end of 2020, Bernard Van Nuffel (President of Vivaqua, Belgium) was appointed as the new President of APE, thus replacing Ms Célia Blauel who, after accompanying for 6 years the growth of our association and the consolidation of Eau de Paris, took up new responsibilities. The appointment of Mr Van Nuffel was also the occasion to launch the revision of APE’s strategy, in light of the profound cultural and political changes that occurred in the last 5 years. This revision will be concluded in 2021.


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