The three days session in Antwerp (Belgium) had three main objectives: to celebrate the second plenary progress meeting, the first Advisory Board meeting and the first stakeholders meeting. The follow-up meeting, in the 4th month of the project, was the first after the kick-off.
In this meeting, the progress of the active tasks of the project was reviewed, in particular the creation of the projects, tools and companies databases and the development of the launched online survey for the identification of market requirements. Although the survey will remain open until the end of August, some interesting results can already be extracted. After this, a brief scoping document of the project was agreed during a deep discussion, in order to set and well define the main concepts and objectives of the project.
One of the important points discussed in the meeting was the collaboration with the EIP Water MarketPlace initiative.
As the technical integration remains difficult, the collaboration will only involve the harmonization of the databases and the conceptual approaches between the two platforms.
The meeting was useful also for the preparation of the next Advisory Board and stakeholders meetings, and to review the future dissemination and networking actions as well as the next steps in the project. The first meeting of the Advisory Board was an exchange of information in both directions: from WaterInnEU with a presentation of the project and of the key aspects where recommendations are needed from the Advisory Board, and from their part, with many questions to better understand our project and our approach, and with a return in the form of advice and recommendations. It was a very active dialogue.
The first meeting with stakeholders consisted of an exchange of experiences among stakeholders of the two study areas, both transboundary basins of the Scheldt and Maritsa. The main objective was to know in depth the main problems when harmonizing their Basin Management Plans (River Basin Management Plans) and their adaptation to the WFD (Water Framework directive). The stakeholders from the two river basins explained first their work and challenges and then worked together in a panel discussion. They all agreed in the need for efficient, successful and widely accepted and approved tools. Their comments will be helpful in the design of the WaterInnEU MarketPlace.
The last day, the Maritsa stakeholders were invited to visit the International Scheldt Commission Offices and the Flanders Hydraulics Laboratorium.