Austrian expertise in the field of water supply for EU development cooperation
State Secretary Waldner at Development Cooperation Council meeting in Brussels
Vienna, 24 May 2011 – One of the priorities of today’s Council meeting was water, a subject to which the Austrian Development Cooperation programme can contribute special know-how. “The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) has longstanding, internationally recognised experience regarding the water supply of communities and sanitary development, such as in Uganda and Mozambique,” emphasised State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner, who represented Austria at today’s EU Council meeting for development cooperation in Brussels.
In order to raise political awareness, Austria proposed that the EU formulate a clear political goal for the water sector. “I suggested concentrating the different EU instruments in on order to ensure that by 2020 clean drinking water and sanitary facilities can be supplied to another 100 million people in the countries most affected by climate change and poverty,” said the State Secretary. It seems particularly important to Waldner that EU development policy should strengthen its focus on the link between food security, water and energy: “Water and energy security are prerequisites for food security,” the State Secretary underlined.
Other topics of the Council meeting included support for Southern Sudan by the European Development Cooperation programme and the EU Report on the ODA share.
The European Union and its member states provide more than half of the funds for poor countries. The EU is thus the world’s largest donor. “With its commitment, the EU assumes major responsibility in the world, and we want to further increase it in the course of the coming years,” said State Secretary Waldner at the Development Cooperation Council meeting, pointing out the Treaty of Lisbon’s positive impact of pooling all development cooperation competences within the European External Action Service: “Better coordination of all development cooperation activities creates synergies and opens up new opportunities in areas such as transparency and sustainability.” In addition to its bilateral contributions and its payments to international financial institutions, Austria is providing more than 250 million euros for development cooperation through EU institutions this year.
Participating in the EU ministerial councils (General Affairs and External Relations on 23 May and Development Cooperation Council on 24 May) for the first time, State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner used the occasion for numerous bilateral talks with colleagues from various EU member states and experts from EU institutions.
Federal Ministry for European
and International Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213