Petersberg Process

The Petersberg Process is a German initiative which resulted from the "Petersberg Round Tables on Trans-boundary Waters," launched in March 1998 as a joint effort of the German Government and the World Bank.

The first conference was held at Petersberg near Bonn, on 3-5 March 1998, and highlighted water as an opportunity for close regional cooperation from a global perspective. Recognizing that water is a key natural resource for future prosperity and stability, the conference focused on review of mechanisms and instruments to support the use of water as a catalyst for regional cooperation rather than a source of potential conflict. It was recognized that the availability of water and access to its utilization are crucial to the economic well being not only of individuals, but also of entire regions.

The German Government had organized four Round Tables on Transboundary Waters together with the World Bank. The Round Tables facilitated an open debate on the problems of trans-boundary water management and the development of an integrated approach to resolving them.

The issue was addressed from the perspective of development, environment, security and economic policy. An informal circle, including ministers, senior policy makers, academics, representatives of international organizations and NGOs outlined the problems of trans-boundary water management and examined regional case studies.

Based on the Round Tables of Phase I, the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and the World Bank decided to initiate Phase II of the Petersberg Process. Phase II will focus on cooperative operationally oriented activities concerning transboundary water management, concentrating its activities on smaller catchment basins of Southeastern Europe. The Petersberg Process - Phase II is complementary to EU integration process in the SEE and other ongoing initiatives in the region, such as the Mediterranean Component of the European Union Water Initiative (MED EUWI).


Relevant documents:

Petersberg Process Phase I

  • 1st Petersberg Round Table. Global Water Politics, Cooperation for Transboundary Water Management. Petersberg/Bonn, 3-5 March 1998.
Read the Petersberg Declaration

  • Transboundary Water Management, Experience of International River and Lake Commissions. Berlin, Villa Borsig, 27 - 30 September 1998.
Read the Berlin Recommendations

  • Transboundary Water Management, Experience in the Baltic Sea Region. Vilnius, Lithuania, 6-9 June 1999.

  • The Nile: Sharing Experiences, Sharing Visions. Petersberg Guesthouse, Bonn, Germany, 28 May – 1 June 2000.
Read the Programme


Petersberg Process Phase II