European Rivers Parliament
Start date: Mar 22, 2015,
End date: Sep 21, 2015
The European Rivers Parliament is the final event of the Big Jump Challenge 2015 (www.bigjumpchallenge.net). The Big Jump Challenge is the youth campaign of the Big Jump, a European-wide campaign on water conservation. It empowers youth teams to get creative and take action for their rivers and lakes. The European Rivers Parliament is a policy dialogue between young river ambassadors from across Europe and EU Parliamentarians, which will take place in July 2015 in Brussels and thus during the final goal year of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). The WFD is a European body of law that sets important goals for water conservation in Europa but it will not be implemented by 2015.
The aim of the European Parliament is to debate and highlight the following topics in Brussels:
- what water heritage is the EU passing on to the younger generation?
- the disappointment of European citizens regarding the modest results achieved by the majority of member states in the implementation of the WFD (diffuse pollution, hydromorphological pressures, competition between WFD and other European directives, etc.).
- not least with its focus on youth, there will also be a message of hope to Brussels: water unites, and citizens across Europe via the Big Jump express their interest in a sustainable living with our rivers!
The parliament session will conclude with a symbolic action: the serving of water cocktails made from European rivers. It will also be the opening ceremony for a water expo that displays the local action of the youth groups, the status quo of the WFD implementation, and that will specifically highlight the importance of Europe's last wild river as a heritage for future generations.
The Parliament will gather a selection of 50 participants from European countries that have been selected based on their informed and creative action for their rivers and lakes at their homes or in solidarity for other rivers and lakes. The youth participants will be between 16-21 years of age and they will be joined by water experts from civil society, science and politics.
The European Rivers Parliament, along with the Big Jump Challenge, seeks to empower and validate the action of youth, and add their voice in the ongoing discussion of status quo and future of the WFD. Its longer term impact will be to strengthen trans-national youth networks in the future process of EU water conservation policy.
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