The Republic of India and the European Union,

RECOGNISING the inter-dependencies in the field of environment of India and the European Union (EU) and the trans-boundary character of many environmental problems,

DESIRING to identify key environmental issues and approaches to sustainable development where exchange of experiences and cooperation could be mutually beneficial to strengthen and further develop cooperation between India and the EU in the field of water management,

SHARING the vision for a more sustainable management of water resources and the objective of tackling the challenges posed by water management in the context of growing population, competing water demands and a changing climate,

NOTING the Joint Declaration on an India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP), adopted at the thirteenth EU-India Summit held in Brussels on 30th March 2016, which has initiated the IEWP,

HAVE REACHED the following understanding:

I. OBJECTIVE

The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is to strengthen the technological, scientific and management capabilities of India and the EU in the field of water management on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

II. AREAS OF COOPERATION

India and the EU endeavour to encourage and promote cooperation on the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP), which brings together representatives of relevant stakeholders, including interested EU Member States and Indian States, European and Indian institutions, businesses and civil society.

In this context, India and the EU aim to:

  • Exchange views on regulatory approaches, including procurement, governance, best practices, business solutions and research and innovation opportunities in the water field in India and Europe, taking into account lessons learnt in the implementation of the EU’s legislation on water, in particular the Water Framework Directive, and the already ongoing exchange of information on cooperation under major river conventions, such as the Danube and the Rhine.
  • Continue technical exchange on water issues, including on integrated water resource management plans within river basins, and through study visits to the EU and European experts’ missions to India.
  • Jointly organise Indo-European Water Forum events at regular intervals to discuss and share views on water-related matters of common interest.
  • Support the implementation of the Ganga Rejuvenation Initiative of the Indian Government, in particular through quick-win business solutions based on EU best practices, by developing a consolidated analysis, taking into account joint research activities and identifying key problems and solutions, including innovative European solutions, and by contributing to an analysis of a possible appropriate governance and legal set-up for the Ganga River Basin. The IEWP should be part and parcel of a coordinated approach by the EU and its Member States – and in coordination with other relevant players – on these and other relevant aspects of the Ganga Rejuvenation Initiative.

III. FORMS OF COOPERATION AND IMPLEMENTATION

A Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising of technical experts of equal number from India and the EU should be constituted to discuss, implement and monitor the activities to be carried out in the context of the IEWP. Nominees should include representatives from the Indian Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, the EU Delegation to India, and the Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission.

The JWG should preferably hold its meeting through video-conferencing and at least twice in a year. Physical meetings should take place alternately in India and Europe.

The Partnership should elaborate an action-oriented annual work programme contributing to achieving the objective in Section I and addressing the elements outlined in Section II.

Progress in the implementation of such work plan should be regularly assessed by the JWG.

Future annual work programmes may be agreed to accordingly to these assessments and taking into account arising challenges and opportunities.

IV. FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

India and the EU intend to bear their own expenses arising from the cooperation activities carried out under this Memorandum of Understanding.

    V. DURATION AND NON-BINDING CHARACTER

This Memorandum of Understanding will take effect upon signature by both sides for a period of five years.

The Memorandum of Understanding will be automatically extended for additional five-year periods, unless either side expresses its wish to modify it or terminate it in writing with a six-month notice.

This Memorandum of Understanding is not intended to create any legal or financial obligations under domestic or international law in respect of either side.