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European Youth Water Declaration adopted

Mar 19th, 2010 |

Brussels, 19 March 2010. Two days after the opening of the first European Youth Water Summit in Brussels 36 European Youngsters from 16 countries adopted the European Youth Water Declaration yesterday.

The European Youth Water Declaration provides a coherent framework of principles,  procedures and recommendations that can enhance active youth participation in European decision making process and improve youth education on water and water-related subjects. In the declaration, adopted by acclamation, the Summit’s participants urge Commissioners of education and national minsters of education to ensure “life-long learning of environment and water” as a part of the formal education, “to set up a communication platform for environmental issues” and to improve “communication between youth and the EU”.  In addition, the Summit’s participants request for a scheme to involve youngsters more directly in the policy setting and legislation in the EU. Next Monday, 22nd March, Bart Devos and and Mathijs Mul, the elected European Youth ambassadors, will present the declaration to the Aquawareness Policy Forum.

The third day of the European Youth Water Summit was officially opened by Mrs. Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament, who stressed the need  for a new kind of “World Water Plan” including the universal right to water and sanitation. ”The European Union must be a consistent advocate and supporter of sustainable water use: water – and universal water supplies – can and should become a priority for the European Union’s foreign and development policies”, Mrs. Durant said.

Vice-President Durant’s comments were followed by an open discussion, moderated by Mr. Dieter Ernst, Board Member of the German Water Partnership, who represented the private sector during the summit and stressed that “the sustainability of water solutions will decide of the life quality of tomorrow”. Dr. Nicola Notaro, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Environment, Water Protection and Mr. Philipe Quevauviller, Scientific Officer, DG research explained the main pillars and the functioning of European Water Policy as well as available funding instruments. Other speakers included  Mr. Dino Babic, Representative of the Region of Instria in Brussels, Mr. Peter Gammeltoft, DG Environment, and was closed by Mr. Reiner Wieland, Vice-President of the European Parliament. The declaration writing process was accompanied by artistic works of the participants.

The European Youth Water Summit is enabled by the Coca Cola Foundation. It is organized by the European Water Partnership in cooperation with Solidarity Water Europe. Other supporters include the City of Brussels, Green, EEP Group represented by MEP Dr. Seeber. The Summit is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Partners for Water, Partenariat Agence de l’Eau, STIB and the Water Association Finland.

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