An initiative was presented by the French Ministry of Ecology to the EU Water Directors under the French Presidency last year to develop a science-policy interface within the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) framework, which is linked to EU water policies, in particular the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Over the course of 2009, a preliminary activity will be carried out with voluntary countries, stakeholders, with an active participation of DG Research.
The CIS for the WFD was agreed in 2001 by the EU Member States, Norway and the Commission in order to address the challenges raised by the implementation of water policies in a coordinated and cooperative way.
The preliminary activity to be undertaken in 2009 will look at what is available in terms of water policy-related research and the research gaps in various water-related themes (including climate change impacts on water). The goal is to produce a paper for the EU Member State Water Directors (the representatives of national water management administrations) to be presented at their biannual meeting under the Swedish Presidency in the second half of 2009.
A strong science-policy interface would enable the bi-directional linking of policy and science. Expert information to support water policy design, development, implementation and review would be available to policy-makers, while scientists and other experts would be better informed of the requirements of policy-makers.
Linked to this, the Water Directors invited DG Research to provide a short presentation on the added value and policy relevance of FP6/FP7 as regards the WFD and integrated water resources management.