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News article11 December 2023Directorate-General for Environment

EU and Egypt sign joint declaration to boost cooperation on sustainable water management

Participation of Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner, in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates/COP28

On 9 December, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius on behalf of the EU and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Arab Republic of Egypt Hani Sewilam signed a Joint Declaration in the margins of COP28, establishing a sustainable water partnership. The Declaration marks a step forward in EU-Egypt environmental cooperation, which is already long-established.  

The Declaration establishes high-level annual meetings, new structures for cooperation including a joint working group and could help to organise a possible water forum for businesses. It aims to support Egypt’s water security by sustainably managing the limited water resources available. It promotes regular structured dialogue and policy exchanges that can inform strengthened technological, scientific, and management capabilities of both Egypt and the EU. This partnership can become a model for similar partnerships on the African continent, where Egypt with its Sustainable Development Strategy 2030 already plays a leading role.  

Signing the Joint Declaration, Commissioner Sinkevičius said:

Water stress is increasing worldwide. Increasing our water resilience is at the heart of preventing and addressing current and future health, food and energy crises. The EU-Egypt Partnership on water shows that we will step up our cooperation to address this global challenge, together.

Background

The Joint Declaration signed today is part of a long process of EU-Egypt environmental cooperation. Egypt has also already stablished a long-term cooperation with the EU in the water sector, through the Team Europe Initiative on Water and Food Security.

The UN Water Conference in March highlighted the importance of an integrated approach to addressing the climate change and water, energy, food and ecosystems crises. Mainstreaming water in relevant international processes, such as COP28, is an important step forward in the follow-up of the Conference.   

In 2024, the Commission will adopt an initiative on water resilience, as announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the annual State of the Union Speech. The initiative will develop a shared understanding of the challenges ahead when it comes to the increasing water stress in the EU and globally, in order to devise a strategy to secure a water resilient future.

More information 

EU efforts on the global water agenda 

EU action on water 

Director-General Fink-Hooijer at Cairo Water Week  

Details

Publication date
11 December 2023
Author
Directorate-General for Environment

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