Franco-Austrian Cooperation for Clean Water in Eastern Europe

OrganizationsOther ♦ Published: July 5, 2023; 15:15 ♦ (Vindobona)

France's Ambassador to Austria, Gilles Pécout, spearheaded a round table discussion in Vienna as part of the "EU4Environment-Water Resources and Environmental Data" program. This initiative, funded by the European Union, the Austrian Development Agency, and the Artois-Picardie Water Agency (France), aims to support Eastern Partnership countries in their journey towards European standards for water resources and environmental data management.

For 30 years, the European Commission has devised policies to protect the quality of Europe's water resources and ensure their sustainable and efficient use. / Picture: © CDE Global / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Clean water is an invaluable resource that sustains life on Earth. However, it is increasingly becoming scarce, compounded by the challenges posed by global warming and a growing global population. Alarmingly, around 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, while 3.6 billion people lack proper sanitation facilities.

Program Objectives and Franco-Austrian Cooperation

The "EU4Environment-Water Resources and Environmental Data" program strives to mitigate the negative impacts of human activities on water resources and ecosystems in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. This ambitious endeavor is mainly financed by the European Union, with additional contributions from the Austrian Development Cooperation. Notably, the program benefits from significant collaboration between France and Austria, with key stakeholders such as the Office International de l'Eau (OiEau) and the Austrian Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) playing pivotal roles.

The program tackles various aspects of water resources and environmental data management, including comprehensive monitoring and assessment, robust data collection and analysis, policy development, and institutional capacity building. By assisting the Eastern Partnership countries in bolstering their water management practices, the program aims to foster sustainable development, enhance environmental protection, and fortify the resilience of regional ecosystems.

Partnerships and Support

EU4Environment-Water Resources and Environmental Data thrives on partnerships with national governments, environmental agencies, international organizations, and field experts. Through technical assistance, capacity-building initiatives, and knowledge exchange platforms, the program empowers participating countries to implement effective water management strategies and systems.

Contributing to Sustainable Development Goals

Aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and SDG 14 (Life Below Water), the program strives to promote the sustainable utilization and preservation of water resources. Moreover, by ensuring the availability of reliable environmental data, EU4 Environment-Water Resources and Environmental Data seeks to foster environmental sustainability and improve the well-being of populations in the Eastern Partnership countries.

Overall, EU4 Environment-Water Resources and Environmental Data serves as a collaborative platform, uniting the European Union, participating countries, and diverse stakeholders. By addressing the challenges and opportunities in water resources management and environmental data, this program aims to lay the foundation for effective cooperation, sustainable solutions, and enduring progress in the Eastern Partnership region.

French Embassy Vienna

Austrian Development Agency