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Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process

The Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process facilitates transboundary cooperation for the management of shared water bodies and their basins in Southeastern Europe.


The “Petersberg Process”, initiated in 1998, concerns cooperation on the management of transboundary waters. The Petersberg Process – Phase II is intended to provide support to translate into action the current developments and opportunities for future cooperation on transboundary rivers, lakes and groundwater management in the SEE. It is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the World Bank .

The “Athens Declaration” Process concerning Shared Water, Shared Future and Shared Knowledge was initiated in 2003. It provides a framework for a long-term process to support cooperative activities for the integrated management of shared water resources in the SEE and Mediterranean regions. It is jointly supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Bank.


The Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process

The two processes progressively came together in order to generate synergies and maximize the outcomes for the benefit of the SEE region; the mandate was given by the authorities and stakeholders of the SEE countries during a Roundtable organized in Berlin, Germany in 2005.. Activities within the Process are primarily supported by the Governments of Germany and Greece and the World Bank. Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean provides technical and administrative support.

The main joint objective is to build capacity and share experience on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), and to develop IWRM plans for shared water bodies.

The Process supports a series of complementary activities that provide a forum for transboundary water management issues in SEE. The activities revolve around the political, economic, social and environmental benefits that can be realized through effective cooperation in the management of transboundary waters. Activities focus on a set of key areas and take place at an increasingly local level to facilitate a broader range of participants.

Learning, knowledge sharing and dissemination are supported to strengthen capacity of cooperating parties at the institutional and individual level.

Investments are not directly supported but the exchange of ideas and experience will help to create conditions that enable investment in activities by public and private sources on the national and international level.

The Process complements the EU integration processes and other ongoing initiatives in the region. It contributes directly to the scope and objectives of the Mediterranean Component of the EU Water Initiative (MED EUWI) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) MedPartnership.


GEF IW:LEARN is supporting synergy in the Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process, and contributions of practical experience from GEF projects working in transboundary river, lake and groundwater in the SEE region as well as elsewhere in the world.

Organizations and Institutions having experience and working in the field of TWRM, such as United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and UNESCO/IHP are collaborating partners. Synergies with active institutions, processes, initiatives and projects supported by GEF, other IFIs and donor countries, in the field of transboundary water management at the international, regional and national level, are developed.

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