On Wednesday 18th of November, European Commissioner Karmenu VELLA for Environment, Maritime affairs, and Fisheries met with members of the European Parliament and key representatives from the European water sector to debate the role of water in the circular economy, sustainable development goals, and the mainstreaming of water in other policies such as regional policy, agricultural policy, and research and innovation policy. The meeting was hosted by MEP Esther DE LANGE in her capacity as chair of the MEP Water Group, for which WssTP is the management body. Bruno Tisserand, EurEau president was there to deliver a speech on behalf of the European water sector.
Commissioner VELLA expressed his firm support for the MEP Water Group as a forum that continuously ensures that key water issues are highlighted in the European decision-making process. Commissioner Vella emphasized the quintessential importance of closing the water loop in the circular economy. Special attention was given to the reuse and recycling of water in industrial processes and reuse of municipal waste water, as areas with greatest potential in relation to the circular economy.
In particular, Commissioner Vella added that ‘European companies are already among the global leaders in the field of reusing municipal wastewater. Our expertise in this field can become a globally recognised source for sound investments, quality jobs, and economic growth.’
Commissioner Vella pointed out that we need to address and tackle the barriers to water reuse, so that reuse becomes an obvious solution for water managers, farmers and utilities across Europe.He also clearly indicated his intention to work closely with the EIP on Water to ensure that investment in water resources plays an important role in H2020 across all relevant societal challenges. According to Commissioner Vella, water will have a central role to play in the process of transition to an efficient and sustainable economy.