Environment in emerging and transition economies

Partnership with the EU Water Initiative (EUWI) on the reform of water policies


Русская версия

What is the EUWI

The European Union Water Initiative was launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. Its initial objective is to create the conditions for mobilising all available EU resources (human & financial), and to coordinate them to achieve the water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in partner countries.

The EUWI is an international political initiative. It takes a partnership approach with national governments, donors, the water industry, NGOs and other stakeholders. It works in four regions of the world: Africa, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe – Caucasus – Central Asia (EECCA) and Latin America.



Since 2005, the work in EECCA is being implemented by the OECD (acting in its capacity of Secretariat of the EAP Task Force) and UNECE, who work as strategic partners of the EU Water Initiative.

The programme of work covers 12 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. It is monitored by the EUWI EECCA Working Group.

At the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference (Astana, Kazakhstan, September 2011), Ministers encouraged "improvement of water and environmental systems and policies, and intersectoral cooperation, including, inter alia, National Policy Dialogues on Integrated Water Resources Management and Water Supply and Sanitation". They agreed "to pursue implementation of principles of integrated water resources management, an ecosystem approach and the integration of ecosystem values in economic accounting". The EU Water Initiative seeks to support these objectives through its operations in EECCA.


The EUWI EECCA Working Group

The Working Group consists of representatives of all partner countries (EECCA countries and their partners supporting the reform of water policies). It involves NGOs, private sector and international organisations active in the region as well. Romania acts as Chair of the EECCA Working Group.

The EUWI EECCA Working Group meets once a year, to endorse and oversee the programme of work of the EUWI in the EECCA region. At each meeting, much attention is paid to the exchange of experience with regard to water sector reforms in EECCA.


Work under the EUWI EECCA

Work under the EUWI EECCA is demand driven. It covers a range of topics related to the reform of water policies in EECCA.

EUWI EECCA contributes to the achievement of the water related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the EECCA countries as well as specific targets on water management set in the EU Water Policy, Neighbourhood Policy, Eastern Partnership and the EU Central Asia Strategy country programmes. It also contributes to mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in water policies.

Work promotes legal and institutional reforms to improve water related laws and policies, and their implementation. It covers analyses to strengthen the economic and financial dimension of water policy reforms. It also provides a platform for donors' coordination in the region.

National Policy Dialogues are the main instruments through which the EUWI works in EECCA. They are structured policy processes that contribute to the improvement of coordination and better sharing of information, as well as promote informed policy making, stakeholders’ involvement, and communication to a wide audience. They are substantiated by robust analyses and by lessons from international best practices on water policy reforms.

These activities were genereuosly funded by EC and by a number of bilateral donors such as Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

This page assembles the main outcomes of this programme of work, under three categories:


Related publications


See also OECD horizontal work on water: www.oecd.org/water


Related Documents


Environmental Action Programme (EAP) Task Force: Greening development in EECCA

Water supply and sanitation

Natural resources management, including water


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