National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) on water are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA). NPDs are jointly facilitated by the OECD and UNECE and since 2006 EUWI NPDs have been carried out in the following countries.
NPDs are policy platforms where stakeholders meet to advance water policy reforms. NPDs are driven by the demand from the host countries. They are usually chaired by heads of respective government agencies. A variety of stakeholders participate in the meetings, such as ministries and government agencies and institutions, as well as non-governmental organisations, the business community, and parliamentary bodies. Participants also include international organisations and EU Member States active in water policy reforms in each country.
Discussions at NPD meetings are substantiated by robust analytical work and international best practice. For instance, reviews of water pricing benefit from assessments of affordability and competitiveness impacts of alternative pricing scenarios and development of river basin management plans build on similar experience in European countries.
Officials from EU member state governments and organisations are invited to participate, share experience and demonstrate EU policies and practices. The main outcomes are policy packages, such as legislative acts, national strategies, ministerial orders and plans for implementation. In most cases these apply the principles of the EU water policy. Emphasis is also set on the implementation of previously adopted policies through pilot projects or technical assistance.
NPDs are financially supported by the European Commission, several EU member states and other donors. They are facilitated by the OECD and UNECE, which contribute on substance and help the chairs of NPDs to manage the process.
EECCA countries benefit from the on-going EUWI NPDs in many ways, not least through better cooperation with EU Member States. Improved coordination with donors on water issues helps to increase cost-effectiveness of Official Development Assistance provided by EU Member States as well as other donors. Furthermore, NPDs provide opportunities to transfer best practices and knowledge from EU Member States and a number of international organisations including the OECD and UNECE to beneficiary countries.
It was an honour for me to cooperate with the implementing agencies and with our colleagues and partners throughout the region and to share the EU experience in water management to the benefit of EECCA countries and people.
We are proud of the EUWI-EECCA achievements so far and look forward to continuing the effective implementation of water policies designed through the NPDs.”
Gheorghe Constantin, Chair of the EUWI EECCA component,
In Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the NPD Steering Committees have been successfully operating as platforms where key national stakeholders meet regularly to discuss and advance policy reforms. In Belarus, the NPD Steering Committee is in process of being established.
The NPD Steering Committees at national level will be used as oversight bodies to discuss plans and progress of all 3 Results of the EUWI+ project in all 6 Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. Agendas of NPD meetings will be prepared according to the priorities identified in the country workplans. Under the EUWI+ project, the OECD and UNECE are responsible for organising at least one NPD Steering Committee meeting in each EaP country every year.
This report evaluates how well EECCA countries have done in ensuring people’s access to adequate water supply and sanitation services since their Economic, Finance, and Environment Ministers adopted the Almaty Guiding Principles to support such efforts in 2000. Besides looking at trends in the technical and financial performance of the water sector, the report analyses the results of institutional reforms at different levels of governance, as well as financing arrangements. The report draws policy recommendations to help countries stem the decline in the sector’s performance that has occurred over the last decade, despite opportunities provided by rapid economic growth in many EECCA countries in this period.