EEAC Working Groups (WG) are a key mechanism of collaboration in the EEAC network. The WGs bring together the views of individual advisory bodies on selected and strategic topics, such as sustainable development, energy and ecosystems.
On this page you will find an overview of the upcoming- and two most recent events, (co) organized by the EEAC Working Groups. Please consult the Working Group Pages for further information on the events organized on Circular Economy, Energy and Climate Change, Fresh Water Affairs, Marine Affairs and Sustainable Development
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In order to fulfill the obligation to review the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the European Commission published its evaluation roadmap in October 2017. As part of this evaluation process and in prelude to the review process in 2019, the EEAC Working Group on Fresh Water Affairs dedicated its latest round-table session to the potential explanations of the incomplete success so far of the WFD and the future of the WFD.
The WFD was so different from the previous, standard-oriented, water directives that the WFD was considered to be very innovative at the time of it’s enactment in 2000. The WFD not only defines a number of organizational and technical assignments for Member States but obliges them to direct these measures at the attainment of the “good status” of their territorial water systems.
This “good status” was supposed to be met by 2015, but the WFD provided for mechanisms to extend the deadline until 2027. Moreover, Member States were asked to underpin their policies with an economic analysis of the water use in the river basins, and to take account of the principle of recovery of the costs of water services, including environmental and resource costs.
In 2012, the Commission published its assessment of the then existing river basin management plans. The conclusion was that the output was acceptable, but that the outcome remained unsatisfactory. Only slightly more than half of the surface waters would reach the “good status” in 2015. Whether this “good status” will finally be reached in 2027 remains still unclear.
How was the workshop conducted?
Experts in their field, were invited to share their perspectives, ideas and knowledge during plenary sessions. Together, they focused on A) the potential explanations of the incomplete success of the EU Water Framework Directive so far (with special attention to the subject of economic thinking, systems thinking and reaching ‘good status’). B) what needs to be done to reach the good status and what would be the future of the WFD if this status has not been met by 2027.
Working on the Water Framework Directive, presentation by Jan Verheeke
The Network of European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) organized a follow-up workshop to the session held in the European Parliament on 14 November 2017.
The aim of the latest workshop was to further discuss the strengthening of the management of Marine Protected Areas, with special attention to the question how science can improve Good Environmental Status measurements, monitoring and reporting. Furthermore, the workshop delivered a set of recommendations that will be presented to the European institutions and relevant stakeholders.
The European Union has made considerable progress in developing policies for our seas and oceans. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is an example of such efforts. Furthermore, the EU committed itself to reaching the – so-called- Aichi targets that develop the UN Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. This means that – By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape.
Effective implementation of the MSFD and fulfillment of the Aichi target 11 will remain key to ensuring sustainable use of the seas. The EU should work to further deploy an ecosystem approach and emphasize ecosystem health, expressed through the concept of Good Environmental Status (GES) as stated by the MSFD. However, it seems that neither scientists nor managers of so-called Marine Protected Areas have sufficient means at their disposal for GES measurements, monitoring and reporting. This situation has a negative effect on achieving the aims of EU marine policies and therefore requires attention.
How will the workshop be conducted?
The programme was dedicated to cooperation and knowledge exchange through an interactive set-up. Workshop participants, as experts in their field, were invited to share their perspectives, ideas and knowledge.
How are MPAs effectively managed and monitored? by Professor Boero
The Network of European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) organized a workshop on economic opportunities and the role of government in the sustainability transition of energy-intensive industries in Europe. The workshop was held at the Herman Teirlinck Building, in Brussels on 15 May 2018.
With over 30,000 European companies and four million jobs in the EU , the energy-intensive industries are an important actor in the European economy. Although Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions decreased in nearly all energy-intensive industries , the sector as a whole still produces a quarter of all GHG emissions in the EU.
In the next few decades, energy-intensive industries – from steel and aluminium to cement, chemicals and refineries – will have to continue making a contribution to the 80-95% reduction in GHG emissions stipulated in the Paris Agreement and the ambitions of the Energy Union strategy. At the same time, energy costs and policy measures should not harm the competitiveness of energy intensive industries in the European Union vis-à-vis their global competitors. The central objective is to create a sector that is sustainable from an ecological, social as well as economic perspective.
Which topics will be addressed and who will attend?
The EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change focused on the economic opportunities that the sustainability transition offers to energy-intensive industries in the EU. Participants exchanged different approaches and the underlying views and expectations. Furthermore, participants exchanged knowledge and experiences, and discussed the possible role of government in the sustainability transition of energy-intensive industries in Europe.
Three main questions were discussed:
Ø What is the role of energy-intensive industries in the sustainable low-carbon economic future of the EU and its Member States?
Ø What actions, including investments, need to be taken to ensure a successful industrial transformation process?
Ø What mix of government policies is needed to achieve low-carbon production by the energy intensive industries?
The workshop brought together a selected group of representatives of government, civil society and the energy intensive industries, as well as (scientific) experts and governmental advisors. Enclosed you will find the programme and some of the presentations given. In the due time a summary of the session will be uploaded.
Industrial Decarbonisation The possible role of energy-intensive industries in the sustainable low-carbon economy future in the EU , by C. Egenhofer (CEPS)
What actions need to be taken to ensure a successful industrial transformation process?, by S. Samadi (Wuppertal Institute)