IIASA co-hosting workshop on the future of EU Water Policy.  

Since the adoption of the EU Water Framework Directive in 2000, the societal and policy context has experienced significant changes relevant to economic thinking and the role economics can play in policy making.

These include: the emergence of ecosystem service frameworks, increased importance of social issues, the recognition of the importance of climate change, the need to bring uncertainty and resilience to the forefront of the policy and decision making, and more recently, the aims of the European Green Deal; to deliver resilient, inclusive and just policy implementation.

As a result, well-being, inclusiveness, resilience and equity, have emerged as key drivers of EU Water Policy in addition to water security.


  • Learn from experiences, failures and successes in applying socio-economic thinking, methods and tools in Water Policy & decision making
  • Identify bottlenecks in applying socio-economic thinking, methods and tools to EU Water Policy and find solutions.
  • Define the future road map for how social and economic thinking can be used to enable EU Water Policy to deliver the European Green Deal (resilient, inclusive and just policy implementation)
  • Explore approaches from other policy areas such as biodiversity and climate change.  How did economic thinking help to capture well-being, societal priorities, values, risk and uncertainty in these policy fields?

Target Audience

Economists, social scientists, water managers, other stakeholders, knowledge brokers… a diversity of persons with interest in, and experience with, investigating and accounting for social and economic challenges in relation to water policy and management.

  • from the fresh & marine waters, floods, biodiversity, climate change, soil… domains working at different decision-making scales, including territorial (urban) planning
  • Senior sailors from the socio-economics community of practice and newcomers with innovative ideas, tools, methods (e.g. artificial intelligence and digital, participative value evaluation, experimental economics, psychology….)
  • Practitioners involved in decision making and planning processes, social and economic assessments and/or addressing social and economic challenges related to water
  • Academics and conceptual thinkers that can guide the emergence of new inspiring ideas into the wider (fresh and marine waters/socio-economic) framework.


  • ACTeon, France
  • Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management, the Netherlands
  • Office Français de la Biodiversité (OFB), France
  • Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
  • Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico, Spain
  • Suomen ympäristökeskus (SYKE), Finland
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria.


Contact: contact@refreshingh2o.eu

Funders and Organisers © https://www.refreshingh2o.eu/


Expected outcomes

A four page policy brief will produced from the outcomes of the workshop.

Key messages and recommendations from the workshop will be channeled to the UN 2023 Water Conference (22-24 March, New York).


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