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Project meeting on European Water Governance, Nijmegen, 8-9 July 2019

Date of news: 4 October 2019

On 8-9 July, with financial support from Europal, a meeting was held in Nijmegen to explore possibilities for research cooperation in the field of European water governance. The group first met during a broader workshop around the same topic, held at the Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ) in Leipzig in January 2019. The current group is composed of researchers from Aarhus University (Denmark), Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway), Oldenburg University (Germany), the Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung (Leipzig, Germany), and Radboud University. During part of the meeting, Radboud grants advisors Rudie Trienes and Bas Hendrikx were present.

The research interest of the group focuses on comparative approaches to the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Although the WFD is a widely researched direcitve, comparisons appear as problematic as we lack theoretical groundwork that enables meaningful, context-sensitive comparative analysis. The groups aspires to develop such contextual parameters and to group these into a typology of ‘contextual archetypes’. The ambition is to do so by way of comparative work covering both the national and the local level in 5-8 countries and focusing on particular governance aspects (e.g. integrated water management, spatial differentiation of water policies, upstream-downstream relations and/or re-naturation of water bodies). The meeting in Nijmegen was used to further elaborate the research topic and to explore opportunities for a joint research proposal, e.g. in the context of Horizon 2020. For the short term, an outline and planning for writing a joint agenda-setting paper were developed.