Strong involvement of European Commissioners and Ministers
Four Commissioners, went to Marseille and participated actively in the Europe sessions.
This mobilisation of the European Commission, which had rather chosen to staye away from the previous editions, a first of a kind for a World Water Forum.
Several Ministers in charge of water in the other 26 states - the EU Member and Candidate Countries, the Caucasus and the Russian Federation - took part actively in the sessions of the European process.
In addition to the European Parliamentarians, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee also took part in the opening session of the European process.
The European opening event of the Forum
Monday, 12 March in the afternoon, the high level event "2012 European Year of Water" was conducted in two parts. The first was devoted to "Water management and adaptation to climate change in Europe", the second to "European cooperation with third countries in the water sector"
A "Blueprint" to save European water resources
On Tuesday 13 March, at the opening session of the European Framework Directive on Water (DCE), Commissioner Potocnik said that despite the progress, there still are problems linked to both quality and amounts of water. There is a need for new tools to help improve water efficiency and meet the challenges due to shortages, drought, floods, climate change, population growth and an increasing demand for food and energy. Simultaneously, we need to protect ecosystems and put into place services against pollution and physical transformations.
The Commissioner went on to say that the "Blueprint" to save European water resources needed to be finalised by November 2012 and announced the launch that same week of a consultation on new policy options to help improve everyone's understanding of the process.
Conclusions and proposals of the Europe Region
The work was concluded Friday 16 March during four round tables organised around the major conclusions of the twelve European official sessions:
The preparatory process for the Europe Region
During its first two meetings, held in Brussels on 21 December 2010 and in Paris January 18, 2011, the Steering Committee of the European Process and partner organisations had proposed to retain 12 Priority Targets Specific to the Europe Region.
It was also decided to add to this list a "trialogue" entitled "European action for universal access to water and sanitation"
Each of the 12 European Priority Targets was the subject of a formal session during the World Water Forum in Marseille between 12 and 15 March 2012.
The European process was very participatory, and seven preparatory meetings were organised on a regional scale. Parallel meetings on the "European Process" were also organised.
More about the Europe Regional Process