As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the China Europe Water Platform (CEWP) activities, that require physical presence of Chinese and European experts, have not been able to proceed as initially programmed. However, there are other types of activities, such as desk studies, reporting, digital work, or preparation of future work that is currently underway. More than ever, China and Europe must be connected and work together in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity.
Chinese and European secretariats have been keeping in touch and have exchanged information concerning the situation on the ground. It was decided to postpone the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) of the CEWP Platform, that was scheduled to take place in March 2020, in Beijing, to a new date to be determined.
With this spirit and conscious of the role China-Europe cooperation in the field of water can have in tackling environmental problems in both regions, a Virtual European Consortium Leaders Meeting of the CEWP took place yesterday (Tuesday, the 24th of March 2020). The purpose of this meeting was to make an assessment of the impact this crisis will have on CEWP planned activities, but also to make good use of this time to advance with some strategic work of the Platform.
This meeting was attended by the European leaders of all CEWP PI LOTs, the European secretariat of CEWP (currently being assumed by Portugal) and by the European Commission, including the EU Delegation in Beijing.
It was agreed to hold another virtual European Consortia Leaders Meeting on the 14th of April 2020in order to make a reassessment of the situation.
A strong European coordination at this moment is crucial. All CEWP PI LOTs have shared their concerns and suggestions for the next coming months and a coordinated response was agreed upon.