Reports

Water matters – Could the EU do more to manage the water challenge within and beyond its borders?

30 November 2015


In November 2015, the European Policy Centre published a new Issue Paper on the subject of water: ‘Reaching for Blue Gold - How the EU can rise to the water challenge while reaping the rewards’. The report highlights the economic, environmental, societal and geopolitical value of water – or ‘Blue Gold’ – and argues that it’s time for the EU to open up its toolbox and manage the water challenge within the Union and beyond. At this conference, a panel of experts talked about the findings and recommendations mentioned in the report, and the different aspects of water-related policies, from its interlinkages with agricultural policy, industry and economics to water diplomacy and climate change. All agreed that water is not only essential to sustaining life, but that it also allows our societies to function in ways that we have grown accustomed to. Considering that the pressure on water resources will only increase in the future, and that water-related problems will be further exacerbated by the consequences of climate change, it’s safe to say that water will become ever more important in the years to come which, according to the panellists, should be reflected in the EU’s policy making. They furthermore discussed ways in which the EU could do more in terms of mainstreaming water across policy fields, and how it could use is its own experiences in water cooperation in development policies and international relations.