Extracts from the press conference by Janez Potočnik on the Blueprint to safeguard Europe's waters

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-075285   Duration: 10:02:37  Lieu:
End production: 15/11/2012   First transmission: 15/11/2012
On 15 November 2012, Janez Potocnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, announced that the Commission has launched a Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources, a strategy for ensuring that enough good quality water is available to meet the needs of people, the economy and the environment. EU waters are not doing well in terms of quality, despite improvements in recent years. Water quantity is of equal concern with water scarcity spreading in Europe and extreme events (like floods) increasing in too many Member States. In order to achieve the already existing Water Framework Directive objective of good water status by 2015, the Water Blueprint sets out a three-tier strategic approach: -Improving implementation of current EU water policy by making full use of the opportunities provided by the current laws. For example, increasing the take-up of natural water retention measures such as the restoration of wetlands and floodplains or improving implementation of the "polluter pays" principle through metering, water-pricing and better economic analysis. -Increasing the integration of water policy objectives into other relevant policy areas such as agriculture, fisheries, renewable energy, transport and the Cohesion and Structural Funds. -Filling the gaps of the current framework, particularly in relation to the tools needed to increase water efficiency. In this regard, the Water Blueprint envisages water accounts and water efficiency targets to be set by Member States and the development of EU standards for water re-use.

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10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Arrival of Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment 00:00:03
10:00:08 Cutaway of journalists 00:00:04
10:00:13 SOUNDBITE by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH) saying that the Commission has adopted a Water Blueprint, which is a new strategy for the protection of Europe's water resources; the European Water Framework Directive sets the objective to achieve good status in all European Waters by 2015. (2 shots) 00:00:19
10:00:32 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:00:36 SOUNDBITE by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH) saying that the purpose of the Blueprint is to direct these efforts where they are needed; the ultimate aim is to ensure that a sufficient quantity of good quality water is available for people's needs, the economy and the environment throughout the EU; on the basis of a wide-ranging consultation process, we have identified areas on which EU action would be most helpful; the Blueprint contains numerous concrete proposals relating to better implementation of EU water legislation, more and better integration of water and other policies' objectives, and the completion of current policy framework; so, something better, something more, and something new. 00:00:48
10:01:24 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:01:28 SOUNDBITE by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH) about something better, saying that in order to improve the implementation, the EU water policy will propose to take water balances, ecological flow and water efficiency targets into account when implementing the water legislation; on water pricing, saying that a common methodology for cost-recovery calculation will be developed; however, these implementation instruments will not fully deliver if we do not act to improve the integration of water policy objectives into other relevant policy areas; this is basically about something more; in this respect, agriculture is essential; the Blueprint identifies natural green infrastructures like floodplains, wetlands or buffer strips along river banks as key measures to be streamlined into agricultural policy. 00:00:52
10:02:20 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:02:25 SOUNDBITE by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH) saying that of course, when you want to improve something, it costs money; his message is rather clear: if we don't go in that direction, it will cost more, so it is much better to do it. 00:00:12
10:02:37 General view of press conference 00:00:05
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