43 representatives of 21 members and observers of the Network took part in the forum
11th General Assembly meeting of the European Water Regulators Network /WAREG/ took place on 15 and 16 March 2017 in Sofia. 43 representatives /Regulators’ board members, CEO and experts/ from 21 WAREG members and observers attended the General Assembly meeting. Host of the event was Bulgarian EWRC, which is among the founding member of the Network. The WAREG organization, where currently belong regulatory agencies or institutions from 22 countries and 4 countries-observers, was established in April 2014 and its main mission is to be a platform for cooperation between regulators of the water sector in Europe. A similar structure - Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), brings together national regulators in the energy sector on the continent.
Over the past year EWRC`s members and officials participated regularly in the meetings of the WAREG General Assembly, which are held four times in year, hosted by different members of the Network. The active international cooperation activity of the Bulgarian regulator contributed to enhance the expertise of its administration and gave the opportunity to take part in regulatory policies discussions.
The Bulgarian regulator was represented in these 11th WAREG meetings by the EWRC`s chairperson - Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov, PhD, EWRC`s members - Valentin Petkov, Dimitar Kochkov and Remzi Osman and experts from Water and Sanitation General Directorate. In his welcome address to the participants, EWRC`s Chairperson Ivan Ivanov stressed the importance of such forums for the formation of future unified regulatory policy on similar current problems in the water sector. He explained that since the beginning of 2017 our country has started serious changes in the water sector and the regulatory practices exchange supports the formulation of good decisions within the regulators’ responsibilities. The WAREG President, Mr. Alberto Biancardi, stressed that at European level the water sector is facing serious challenges and the WAREG organization is called to respond with adequate solutions based on common positions of network-members.
During the meetings EWRC`s official presented the functions, tasks and legal framework of EWRC as well as topical issues related to the Bulgarian Regulator`s role in water sector regulation in the context of the upcoming major changes.
The main discussion topics for the meeting included: WAREG Work Plan 2017; WAREG legal status – changing the format from informal to more formal organization - WAREG non-profit association and preliminary analysis of Water Efficiency KPIs in WAREG Member Countries.
During the Sofia meetings the WAREG General Assembly adopted one new member – Energy and Water Regulator of Montenegro and one new observer - Energy and Water Regulator of Macedonia, so the Network expanded. Summarizing the results of the forum, WAREG President Mr. Alberto Biancardi expressed his gratitude to EWRC for the whole organization of the event and stressed that the excellent conditions provided contributed to the fruitful work of all participants.