The Outer

New Milestone in EU-Egypt Relations: A Partnership for Water Resilience

By Manal Abdel Fattah

At COP28, a significant stride in EU-Egypt environmental collaboration was achieved with Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, and the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hany Sewilam signing a Joint Declaration to establish a sustainable water partnership. This marks a pivotal moment in the longstanding environmental cooperation between the EU and Egypt.

Key Highlights of the Declaration:
Establishment of High-Level Annual Meetings: A forum for strategic discussions and decision-making.

Formation of a Joint Working Group: Enhancing cooperation with a structured approach.

Prospective Water Forum for Businesses: A platform to engage and synergize business efforts towards water security.

Aims of the Partnership:
To bolster Egypt’s water security through sustainable management of its scarce water resources.

To foster regular dialogues and policy exchanges, enhancing technological, scientific, and management capabilities in both regions.

Setting a precedent for similar partnerships across Africa, with Egypt leading by example through its Sustainable Development Strategy 2030.

Commissioner Sinkevičius’s Message:
“Water stress is intensifying globally. Enhancing our water resilience is central to pre-empting and resolving the imminent health, food, and energy crises. The EU-Egypt Partnership on water reflects our commitment to collaboratively tackle this universal challenge.”

Background and Future Prospects:
This Joint Declaration is a continuation of the robust EU-Egypt environmental cooperation and aligns with the Team Europe Initiative on Water and Food Security.

The UN Water Conference in March underscored the need for an integrated approach to simultaneously address climate change and the interlinked water, energy, food, and ecosystems crises.

In 2024, the European Commission will introduce an initiative on water resilience, as announced by President Ursula von der Leyen, to build a shared understanding of global water stress challenges and strategize a water-resilient future.

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