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
The Network of European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) organizes a workshop on the social-economic consequences of the phase out of old energy regimes. This workshop is the second in line dedicated to a specific challenge of the phase out process. The workshop will be organized in prelude to the EEAC Annual Conference. Consequently, the workshop will take place in Berlin (SRU premises) on Wednesday 10 October 2018 in the early afternoon.
A successful energy-transition is not solely about developing new low-carbon based economies and societies, but also, and equally importantly, about phasing out old energy regimes. An orderly phasing out of old energy regimes over several decades will involve redundancies along the value-creation chain in sectors such as coal, lignite and refinery. Structural changes will inevitably have socio-economic consequences, which are expected to include job losses in the affected sectors.
The socio-economic dimensions of the phase-out of the old energy regimes should not be underestimated. For example, in Germany alone some 48,000 people are currently employed in the lignite and coal sectors according to the Federation of German Industries (BDI). In addition, an estimated 40,000 to 86,000 people work in industries linked to both sectors. However, this is not just a German phenomenon, countries across the EU face or have faced comparable shifts affecting whole labour sectors and communities.
If activity in old energy-regimes decreases, regional structural change will be accelerated, including job losses in the affected industries. The workshop of the EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change aims to address this issue and will dedicate special attention to the role of government in enhancing an orderly phase out process.
What topics will be addressed and who will attend?
participants will be encouraged to exchange knowledge and experiences and discuss among others the following questions:
- What are to anticipated social-economic effects in Europe, when a phase out of old energy-regimes continues over the next decade(s)?
- What can be learned from previous major social-economic changes?
What is new and what updated governmental interventions are needed?
The workshop aims to bring together a selected group of experts and representatives (scientific) experts and governmental advisors. The workshop programme will be made public in due time.
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