What we can expect of the event?

The workshop was an enjoyable time where much room was given to dialogue, exchange and discussion. Activities included sharing experiences about social and economic thinking, discussing methods and tools to support decision making at different scales (local, metropolitan area, catchment, river basin and sea basin), developing thoughts on the implementation around the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Water Framework.

New perspectives, approaches and ideas were injected into the debate also thanks to, among others, the participation of a young professionals from different disciplines and policy domains. 

So, what did the 80+ European economists, social scientists, decision makers and stakeholder representatives who attended the EU workshop Refreshing H20 policy deliver? After the end of the event, 12 messages have emerged from thematic sessions:

1 – Widen the focus

2 – Give attention to policy processes and governance

3 – Give due consideration to the multiple facets of uncertainty to avoid additional risks

4 – Set the processes right

5 – Set the right incentives to steer cooperation and avoid silo thinking

6 – Move beyond bureaucratic requirements

7 – Bring fresh and marine waters higher in political agendas

8 – Better embed fresh and marine waters in financial decisions

9 – Share knowledge, including on failures

10 – Build capacity and awareness

11 – Create the right narrative

12 – Set up a European community of practice on the social and economic challenges of fresh and marine water decision making


To dive deeper into the essence of the workshop a document which touch upon each session conducted of the workshop will be developed. In the upcoming synthesis document, the general theme is introduced, contributors are cited, challenges and solutions are highlighted, way forward are explained and finally, key messages are illustrated.

This document will present the synthesis of the discussions that have taken place in the ss Rotterdam during the three days. It is developed by ACTeon team building on the synthesis of the thematic discussions prepared by the topic leaders (and co-organizers) during the workshop.