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HTML Document Organisational Structure and Modalities

Released 10/04/2006

v. 27 March 2005)

1. Background

This document presents the organizational framework of MED EUWI. It builds on the description presented in the MED EUWI Activity Plan and the organizational arrangements and modalities agreed for the overall EUWI.

The EUWI and, consequently, MED EUWI is not a new institution but a time-bound process with specified objectives. As such, their organisational structure is expected to evolve as experience is gained and according to emerging needs. Therefore, arrangements and mechanisms may be further evolve in the future, to allow greater clarity and transparency for decision-making and for cooperation between the various actors involved. The organizational framework proposed here is intended for the 2005-2006 but may be modified during this period.

2. Introduction

Overall Objectives

The Mediterranean Component of the EU Water Initiative (MED EUWI) is an integral part of the overall EUWI and shares its overall objectives, aiming to:
- assist design of better, demand driven and output oriented water related programmes,
- facilitate better coordination of water programmes and projects, targeting more effective use of existing funds and mobilization of new financial resources and,
- enhanced cooperation for project's proper implementation, based on peer review and strategic assessment.

Key areas where the MED EUWI could make a difference are likely to include:

  • Promoting water as a cornerstone of sustainable development
  • Raising the programmatic profile of water in PRSPs and NSSDs of partner countries
  • Coordinating funding for water in a better way among the partners of the Initiative
  • Linking together the wide range of financing ideas, networks and mechanisms that currently exist for water in the Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe so as to cover gaps and needs in partner countries
  • Supporting better project preparation facilities
  • Supporting the elaboration of a wider range of models for water sector restructuring in addition to involving private sector participation by competent international operators.

Geographic Coverage

MED EUWI gives particular emphasis to Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe priorities. The area of activity of MED EUWI comprises, the following non EU Partner Countries:

In the South and East Mediterranean - Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

In the Southeastern Europe - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Serbia and Montenegro as well as Bulgaria and Romania which have currently a special status in relation to the EU (accession countries).


Τhe MED EU WI focuses on the following Themes:

  1. Water supply and sanitation, with emphasis on the poorest part of the societies.
  2. Integrated water resources management, with emphasis on management of transboundary and national water bodies.
  3. Water, food and environment interaction, with emphasis on fragile ecosystems.
  4. Non-conventional water resources.

while as horizontal Themes are identified

  1. Transfer of technology, transfer of know how, capacity building and training
  2. Education

3. Organisation and co-ordination

The MED EUWI is open to all partners willing to commit to its objectives, targets, and guiding principles, having genuine willingness to work with others seeking practical solutions. Partnership refers to partnership between the EU and the Mediterranean (South and East) and Southeastern European countries as well as partnership between government, civil society and the private sector. Non-EU donors and international organizations, including the OECD, UN Organisations and Agencies, International Funding Institutes etc, are also invited and encouraged to joint the Initiative. The Mediterranean is characterized by a wealth of regionally led partnerships and processes, thus, activities in the context of the MED EUWI are and will be based on existing initiatives and on work already undertaken by partner countries and organizations, in order to avoid duplication.

The organizational structure of MED EUWI is based on a light structure aiming to effectively ensure the multi-stakeholder participation in its activities. It includes:

  1. an advisory Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MStF)
  2. guiding and decision making Working Group (WG), chaired by the Lead Country and Co-chairs
  3. a Secretariat to provide support and ensure smooth running.

In an effort to create such a light structure, the organisation and coordination arrangements build on existing mechanisms, institutions and regionally led processes and initiatives in the Mediterranean (e.g. the Euro-Med Partnership, UNEP/MAP etc), as appropriate. The MED EUWI organizational framework is illustrated in the Figure below. The different elements of the structure and their responsibilities are briefly described below.

MED EUWI follows closely and responds to the modalities and procedures of the overall EUWI.

The official language of MED EUWI works and communications is English. To the extend possible and depending on means available, MED EUWI, through its Secretariat (see under 3.4), shall provide translation of key documents to and from other languages.

3.1. MED EUWI Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MStF)

The MStF is the advisory body of the MED EUWI.

MED EUWI MStF Function

MStF participants:

  • Provide advice and recommendations to the MED EUWI WG on the MED EUWI annual work programme and on all other aspects of the development of MED EUWI.
  • Review the implementation of the annual work programme on the basis of the MED EUWI annual report and progress reports.
  • Disseminate information on the MED EUWI, raise support for activities and serve as a platform to sensitise and attract potential new partners.

    Figure. MED EUWI Organisational Framework

In addition, the MStF also provides a framework for:

  • Discussion and consultation with a broad group of water-sector and development co-operation interests on the design, co-ordination and implementation of MED EUWI.
  • Supporting exchanges of good practice between the different themes and elements of MED EUWI that can help to achieve the objectives and to develop the MED EUWI and EUWI, in general, in a coherent and harmonized fashion.
  • Ensuring integration of new planned activities with existing and ongoing ones in order to avoid overlaps and duplication.
  • Contribute to building trust and common visions to orientate joint action on water, in the Mediterranean region.


  • The MStF agrees on its stakeholder representatives to the MED EUWI WG (estimated around 12 representatives) on the basis of nominations from NGOs, socio-economic actors and local authorities, and with a balanced geographical and gender distribution. MStF representatives to the MED EUWI WG are renewed every two years (names of nominated representatives to the MED EUWI WG can be updated following submission of new nominees by the partners themselves to the lead country), or earlier if the MStF decides so.



The MStF is open to all interested organizations - MED EUWI partners. It is invited by the Lead Country. Effort will be made to organize the MStF in conjunction with major regional events.

MStF meets once per year, unless decided otherwise.

3.2. MED EUWI Working Group (WG)

The WG is responsible for driving the implementation of the MED EUWI. The WG is assisted in its tasks by a Secretariat (see under 3.3).

MED EUWI WG Function

The WG:

  • Agrees on the strategic orientations of MED EUWI, corresponding objectives and priorities, and relevant annual work programme and/or other multi-year Work/Action Programmes of the MED EUWI, as appropriate.
  • Outlines the priorities for the following year's annual work programme, based on the planned contributions of the different partners and the available resources.
  • Ensures delivery on the strategic objectives and annual work programme and/or other multi-year Work/Action Programmes, as appropriate, of MED EUWI, agreed upon.

To this end, the WG:

  • Agrees on the EUWI annual work programme and/or other multi-year Work/Action Programmes, as appropriate, and the annual report to be submitted to the MStF for discussion and feedback.
  • Ensures proper monitoring the implementation of the annual work programme and/or other multi-year Work/Action Programmes, as appropriate, and provides ad hoc recommendations where appropriate.
  • Ensures integration of new planned activities within the MED EUWI with existing and ongoing ones in order to avoid overlaps and duplication.
  • Supports and facilitates linkages as required in their efforts to achieve the goals of MED EUWI.
  • Reviews progress reports from the Lead Country and the Secretariat and provides relevant feedback.
  • Takes practical decisions about the operating of MED EUWI with the assistance of the Secretariat.
  • In line with the partnership approach of the EUWI, regularly consults with and seeks expert opinion of a wider stakeholder view through the MED EUWI MStF.

MED EUWI WG Membership

All decisions relating to the driving of the MED EUWI are taken in an open configuration including:

  • EU Member States, who actively show interest in the development of MED EUWI.
  • MED EUWI Partner Countries (as described under 2), who actively show interest in the development of MED EUWI.
  • European Commission (AIDCO, DEV, ENV, RELEX, RTD)
  • European Funding Institutions, including the European Investment Bank.
  • Around 12 representatives of NGOs, socio-economic actors and local authorities, nominated from the MED EUWI MStF.
  • Third countries (European or non) according to their interest.
  • Non EU donors, funding institutions and other agencies with an interest and active commitment on water issues in the region. The latter may include countries like Canada, Norway, Japan, USA, etc. and institutions like UN agencies, OECD, World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank etc.

Membership to the WG will cover all interested and actively involved parties (institutional or individuals) and it will be overall discussed by the MED MStF. Interested parties should identify their interest for participation to the Lead Country by nominating their regular representatives following a nomination request by the Lead country. Even though membership might start on an open and ad-hoc basis, it will progressively be formalised and standardised based on the willingness of participants to actively contribute to and support the process as well as their regular attendance of WG meetings. This will also be achieved by means of combining (by the Lead country) and using one single mailing list for correspondence within the WG following representatives' nomination.

Members the WG will mainly be on an officers' or senior officers' or expert level. In order to facilitate decision-making on important issues (e.g. strategic orientations of the MED EUWI's Work or Action Programmes, financial issues etc) meetings of the WG at a higher official level are also foreseen, on an ad-hoc basis, according to the Agenda of each meeting and possibly in conjunction with other regional related events.

Members of the WG (especially government representatives) should ensure, to the extend possible and through existing national and/or local mechanisms, adequate coordination at country level, acting as focal points for the MED EUWI and providing feed back to the overall WG, regarding country/government orientations, water policies, water aid and expenditure, identification and implementation of priority actions etc. This will increase accountability and coherence of discussions and decisions, and will also result in an enhanced and more regular attendance of WG meetings by the nominated representatives.

Aiming to further secure effectiveness and accountability, the function of the WG will be closely linked (in terms of thematic agenda, possible joint meetings, emphasis on water in other agendas etc) to existing mechanisms and initiatives in the region, like the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (e.g. the Euro-Mediterranean Water Directors' Forum), the UNEP/MAP (e.g. MCSD) etc. This will eventually result in a more strengthened collaboration and development of synergies between the Barcelona Convention, the MCSD and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership with the MED EUWI. In this context, the possibilities for the Euro-Mediterranean Water Directors' Forum as a potential structure, for providing to the MED EUWI the required political backing, will be in-depth explored.

3.3. Lead Country and Co-chairs

The WG is chaired by the EU Lead Country together with up to two other partner countries (acting as Co-chairs), one representing South and East Mediterranean Partner Countries and one representing Southeastern European Countries. The Co-chairs will be identified in due course, taking into account, inter alia, representativity factors, active involvement, experience, capacity to assist in the day-to-day management of the MED EUWI and its implementation, willingness to act as sub-regional focal point for MED EUWI etc. The issue of Co-chairs identification will be extensively discussed in the MStF, WG and possibly other appropriate regional/sub-regional events.

The principal functions of the Lead Country, with the assistance of the Co-chairs and the Secretariat, are to:

  • Invite and chair the WG and MStF meetings
  • Develop a work-plan and a division of labour to be agreed by the WG
  • Ensure co-ordination and delivery of outputs complying with deadlines agreed in the work plan
  • Report to the MStF on the work of the WG
  • Report to the EUWI Steering Group on the work of MED EUWI
  • Report, with the support of the MED EUWI Secretariat and the Secretariat of the overall EUWI , to other fora, events or meetings (e.g. the Euro-Med partnership and Euro-Med Water Directors Forum, MCSD, UNCSD, UNESCO, donor meetings, EU WFD related events, IFIs, Development Banks, OECD, occasional thematic and scientific conferences etc) on the MED EUWI and the progress achieved, aiming at strengthening synergies between related activities
  • Stimulate or secure fund raising for the Secretariat

The WG meets 2 times a year or more as required by the workload.

3.4. MED EUWI Secretariat

The Secretariat assists the process, through a light administrative structure. Its main role is to support the MStF, the WG, the Lead Country and the Co-chairs as well as to co-ordinate activities between and within the different Themes.

The Secretariat:

  • Promotes the agreed strategic orientations and facilitates the implementation of the annual programme of the MED EUWI
  • Carries out day-to-day management and administrative tasks required to ensure the smooth running of the MED EUWI including the preparation of draft documents (e.g. annual work programme and annual progress reports of MED EUWI); circulation of papers; arranging meetings (notably responsibility for the administrative organisation of MStF and WG meetings) and act as their rapporteur
  • Ensures proper internal and external information flow (in collaboration with existing mechanisms like EMWIS and the EUWI Information System)
  • Collects progress reports received from different elements and activities; consolidates results and produces progress reports of the MED EUWI together with the Lead Country, according to the requirements of the overall EUWI.
  • Represents the MED EUWI in and report to competent bodies and on-going related processes

4. Financial issues

Each partner of MED EUWI is expected to provide its own resources to support its involvement in the MED EUWI works. Upon availability of funding, MED EUWI will support the participation of partners in its works.

Financial resources for carrying out the MED EUWI activities (including both horizontal and sectoral activities) could be contributed from the EU Commission, the Lead Country, other EU Member States and/or other international donors who have already or are anticipated to commit themselves to support suggested activities and functions or even propose more actions related to the MED EUWI scope. In this context, emphasis will be given on avoiding overlaps, on increasing coherence and on building synergies.

5. Decision making process

At the moment, a single political body/Forum that would provide political support to the MED EUWI has not been identified due to the multiplicity of existing mechanisms in the region. Political support and decisions have been taken on an ad-hoc basis from appropriate high-level configurations (e.g. Informal Environment Ministerial Council-May 2003, Political Forum convened for "Shared Waters, Shared future, Shared Knowledge" Conference-May 2003 etc), thus achieving a high degree of flexibility, convergence and integration. Possibilities for identifying a unique/appropriate political platform/process to carry the MED EUWI forward will be further screened, aiming at achieving increased accountability, visibility and political guidance. That will entail, inter alia, further strengthening of linkages of the MED EUWI with ongoing regional process (eg the Euro-Med Partnership, the Barcelona Convention, the MCSD etc). In this context, the possibilities for the Euro-Mediterranean Water Directors' Forum as a potential structure, for providing to the MED EUWI the required political backing, will also be further and in-depth explored.