How will the Covid19 crisis influence European energy and climate policies

The context in which the European energy and climate transition is taking place changes by the day due to the Covid19 crisis.  Inevitably this changing context will affect the EU’s energy and climate policies. In order to obtain a better understanding of  how the Covid19 crisis will influence European energy and climate policies, the EEAC Working Group invited Milan Elkerbout of the Center for European Policy Studies to provide the working group with an online policy briefing on this issue.

During the session, Milan touched upon both the short-term and the longer-term impacts of Covid19 on EU energy and climate policies. With this session the EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change provided participants with an enhanced understanding of the short-term and longer-term impact of the Covid19 crisis on EU Energy and Climate Policies. An outcome document will be shared in due time.

Responding to Covid19: Building social, economic and environmental resilience with the European Green Deal 

In response to the Covid19 pandemic, the Board of the EEAC Network hosted a meeting of council members, secretary-generals and directors of its member bodies to discuss the pandemic and what it will mean for the sustainable development and environmental agendas. There was a consensus that the pandemic reinforces the need to actively pursue an enhanced European Green Dealand the UN
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Following the meeting, EEAC Chairman Arnau Queralt Bassa drafted a messages, entitled Responding to Covid19, Building social, economic and environmental resilience with the European Green Deal 

Expert Meeting International Rail (II)

THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA RESTRICTIONS

Subsequent to the expert meeting in January 2020, the advisory bodies from Belgium (FRDO-CFDD), the Netherlands (Rli) and Luxembourg (CSDD) will organize an expert meeting to present and discuss the insights gained from their work so far. This exchange will help to enrich and focus the Council’s advice and determine the most effective target audience and form of recommendations.

The advisory bodies aim to meet representatives from rail infra, train operating companies, service providers, government authorities and representatives of EU organisations and institutions who are involved in improving international passenger rail transport.

The expert meeting will take place in Brussels on April 15th in the afternoon. The language of the meeting will be English. Simultaneous interpretation in French will be provided. If you are interested to joy the meeting, please contact Tim Zwanikken (project leader, tim.zwanikken@rli.nl, 00 31 (0)6 5287 4404).

Online working session on the outcomes of the EU Environment Council Meeting

The EU Environment Council discussed the fitness-check of the EU water directives during its session on Thursday, March 5th. To provide the latest information and insights coming from the Council discussion, the EEAC Network’s Working Group on Water organized  an online working session a week later, on Thursday March 12th.

This meeting was subsequent to our recent online working session on the fitness-check of the EU water directives. This time we focused on the outcomes and possible consequences of the Environment Council meeting. Hagar Ligtvoet of the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the European Union kindly introduced the outcomes and possible consequences of the Council meeting during our working session.

 

EEAC joined the inaugural meeting of the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies

The EEAC Network formally endorsed the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies in September 2019 and joined the Global Forum’s inaugural meeting in Bogota from February 17 to 19 2020. The focus of this inaugural meeting was to identify the demands and capacities for SDG delivery for all network members, and to propose potential pathways and competencies for accelerated SDG implementation.

This unique gathering allowed all network members to become engaged in implementation through the structured exchange of experience with other network members and by developing roadmaps for implementation back-to-back with the identified demands and capacities. The EEAC Network was represented by its Working Group Co-Chair Gábor Bartus, supported by the Network’s coordinator Michiel de Vries.

Out now: The EEAC Working Session Summary: the ambitions and proposals of the EU Green Deal

The EEAC Network organized a working session on the European Green Deal in Brussels  on Thursday February 13th, 2020.

During the one day working session, EEAC members engaged with think-tanks and other EU oriented organizations to learn how these organizations perceive the ambitions and proposals included in the European Green Deal.

Experts from – among others –  Bruegel; IDDRI; IEEP, EEB, EESC-SDO, and EPC shared an overall assessment of the Green Deal’s content and potential, as well as more sector specific analyses.

Please click here to read the EEAC Working Session Outcome Summary.

 

Expert Session: International rail services

Better international accessibility by rail will contribute to economic competitiveness, international tourism and is increasingly important as a safe, energy-efficient and low carbon emission means of transport. In the light of climate change and the political wish to reduce short-distance flights (< 750-800 km), we see a new interest in international rail passengers transport. There are, however, multiple physical, technical and institutional obstacles to be tackled before Europe has a well-functioning network of frequent and fast international connections.

In this context, the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) – in cooperation with fellow advisory bodies from Belgium (FRDO-CFDD) and Luxembourg (CSDD) – is preparing an advice on international passenger rail transport. To this end, a stakeholder meeting is organized in The Hague (the Netherlands) on January the 22nd.

The sessions are about identifying and prioritizing obstacles and possible solutions and will last about three hours. The morning session (in Dutch, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or afternoon session (in English, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.). If you are interested to join the event, please send an e-mail the secretariat@eeac.eu

 

 

EU Water Directives are fit for purpose: Now what’s next

The Working Group on Fresh Water Affairs met, together with other stakeholders, online to discuss the outcomes and possible consequences of the fitness checks of the EU Water Directives. Hans Stielstra (European Commission, DG Environment) guided the participants through the fitness check, its outcomes and its possible consequences for the work ahead.

Background

The European Commission launched the fitness check outcomes of the EU Water Directives just before the Holiday Season. In its communique, the European Commission made it clear the Water Framework Directive (WFD) is ‘fit for purpose’ and a critical pillar of the EU’s environmental legislation.

In its statements, the European Commission expressed its expectation that the momentum of the European Green Deal will allow to make a leap forward with regard to the fresh water policies in the EU. The Farm to Fork Strategy and the Zero-Pollution ambition are for example very relevant in this perspective.

Purpose

The purpose of the online gathering was to develop a clear and shared view of developments ahead and of the activities that we as network and as advisory bodies could undertake. In due course, a mainline summary will be produced on the basis of the session. For more information click here

Launch of the Sustainable Romania Project

The implementation and success of the 2030 Agenda also relies on the capacity of national policy-makers to formulate and set up their own agendas as well as their potential to foster connections with various stakeholders and to establish partnerships.

Romania has made important steps in the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In 2017 the Government established the Department of Sustainable Development which in 2018 revised the National Sustainable Development Strategy in accordance with the Agenda’s goals. The Department of Sustainable Development will continue to work closely with a wide range of stakeholders in order to implement in the next 3 years the project titled “Sustainable Romania Development of the strategic and institutional framework for the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy of Romania 2030.

The main objective of the project is the implementation of the NSDS 2030 through the provision of an appropriate implementation framework, to increase institutional capacity of central authorities, to streamline communication and interinstitutional collaboration, ensure consistent monitoring of progress and integrate evidence-based public decisions.

The event aimed to launch the project and to facilitate the dissemination of information to relevant stakeholders regarding the objectives, the activities that will contribute to the achievement of the objectives and expected results of the project. The event also facilitated the exchange of best practices and knowledge in order to identify best directions to be followed for achieving the goals of the project. To this end both EEAC Chairman Arnau Queralt as well as representatives of the German Advisory Council for Sustainable Development were made a contribution.

Presenting the 2019 Europe sustainable development report

UNSDSN and IEEP  organised a conference to launch the 2019 Europe Sustainable Development report.

Together with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN), IEEP developed the first EU Index and Dashboard on SDGs, following on the footsteps of the Global SDG Index produced by UNSDSN annually since 2015. This work is supported by the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network (EEAC) and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, and developed in cooperation with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Finnish Presidency of the Council.

It is worth noting that the report complements the work by Eurostat, including assessing EU spillover effects in the global context. It identifies policy priorities for the European Union to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and implement the Paris Climate Agreement. It compares the performance of the EU and its 28 member states on all 17 SDGs and provides detailed country profiles using a mix of data sources. The findings cane at a critical time for Europe. At the beginning of the new mandate for both the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The conference presented the report’s findings and provided the opportunity to explore strategies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe. MEPs from across the political spectrum and SDGs experts debated on this challenging topic, with reactions from civil society and public institutions. Click here for more information.