Opening-Conference of the EU-funded Twinning Project“Support to Policy Planning in Water Management Sector”

April 12, 2019, 09:30 am

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Main Meeting Room

13-15 Resavska Street, 11000 Belgrade

Today, an opening-conference of the EU-funded Twinning Project “Support to policy planning in water management sector” was held at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Belgrade.
The objective of the EU-Twinning project is to improve the water quality standards in Serbia. Its aim is to strengthen the Serbian water management administration and all relevant institutions – in line with EU standards.
The project is financed by the European Union from the IPA 2016 allocated funds, and is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia, the Republic Water Directorate in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Environmental Protection Agency of the Republic of Austria and “Deltares” from The Netherlands. The total budget of the project is 1.5 million Euros.
It will be implemented in the next eighteen months. The contracting authority is the Ministry of Finance, Department for Contracting and Financing of European Union Funded Programmes (CFCU).
More specifically, the project strengthens the capacity of the Serbian Republic Water Directorate and Public Water Management Companies “Srbijavode” and “Vode Vojvodine” in integrated water management. It thereby follows the principles of the EU-Water Framework Directive.
The expected project’s results are:
1. Assessment of the existing River Basin Management Plan development process;
2. Improvement of knowledge and practices of the Serbian Republic Water Directorate and other technical bodies on pressure and impact analysis, cost recovery and cost effectiveness analysis;
3. Increase of public and stakeholder involvement related to the development of elements of the River Basin Management Plan.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Antoine Avignon, Delegation of the European Union, Ms Dorothea Gieselmann, Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Christian Brawenz, Republic of Austria, Mr Oliver Šarov, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Velimir Stanojević, State Secretary, Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and Ms. Nataša Milić, Acting Director, Serbian Republic Water Directorate, addressed the participants.

Mr. Antoine Avignon mentioned that this project is implemented because the EU trusts that water protection and management transcend national boundaries, and that the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), which establishes a legal framework to protect and restore clean water in the EU, aims at ensuring its long-term sustainable use.
German Project Leader, Mr. Klaus Arzet, as well as the Austrian and Dutch Junior Project Leader, Mr. Johannes Grath and Mr. Wilko Verweij, presented how RBMP works in other countries for the benefit of citizens.
Resident Twinning Advisor, Mr. Stephan von Keitz, and Ms. Gordana Špegar, Resident Twinning Advisor Counterpart, Serbian Republic Water Directorate, explained why the RBMP is important for Serbian citizens.
The conference was concluded with the panel discussion, moderated by Mr. Miodrag Milovanović (Institute for the Development of Water Resources “Jaroslav Černi”), where a variety of opinions regarding the project were shared by the following participants: Mr Stephan von Keitz, Resident Twinning Advisor; Mr Dušan Dobričić, Republic Water Directorate; Mr Helge Wendenburg, former President of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, Ms Duška Dimović, WWF, Mr Momir Paunović, Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković” and Mr Đorđe Gajić, student at the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade. The panellists were able to convey further knowledge of the topic and to inspire the audience during the debate.