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© HarmoniCOP 2003

The HarmoniCOP flyer is available in:


HarmoniCOP is part of
Key Action Water on the Europa Server
Key Action Water page on the CORDIS Server

The Harmonicop project is supported by European Union's framework 5 Programme for Research and Development, and by the European Commission as part of its programme on Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (contract no.: EESD-ENV-2000-02-57)


Author is solely responsible for content. This website is the sole responsibility of the HarmoniCOP Project and does not represent the opinion of the European Community nor is the European Community responsible for any use that might be made of the data appearing herein.

design and coding:
HarmoniCOP Handbook available now!
The final HarmoniCOP handbook "Learning together to manage together Improving participation in water management" is now available in print and to download.

Additionally to the English version of the handbook you can also find translations to download in Dutch, German, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, French and Russian. The handbook presents innovative support for the follow up of social learning in participatory processes of water management.

Because we all have a stake in water! Magazines, radio and television raise ever more often the issues such as increased frequency of floods, river pollution or the difficulty to guarantee the quality and quantity of our potable water during the coming decades. Everybody uses water: just for drinking and washing or for irrigation, power generation, transport, fishing and leisure activities. But we do not only use water; through our consumption behaviour, we also influence its quality and availability. To improve the management of our most precious resource, the European Union has agreed to implement a new way of managing our rivers.

River Basin Management Planning (RBMP) is the integrated cross-sectoral planning and management of river basins, even of those which do not match political and administrative borders. RBMP will not only enable us to improve the management of our international river basins like the Elbe and the Rhine but this new concept also integrates all the interests of organisations and people that use and influence water. ...among others: professional and non-professional public and private sector organisations, environmental protection agencies, water authorities and commissions, local and regional planning authorities, water boards, inland water transport companies, environmental and farmers' groups, anglers' associations, religious groups and finally the individual citizens. Successful RBMP requires not only the involvement of different interest groups but also the integration of various disciplines like social and natural sciences, economics, law and planning.

The new European Water Framework Directive incorporates the approach of River Basin Management Planning. To improve public participation in RBMP the project "Harmonising Collaborative Planning" (HarmoniCOP) was designed. Fifteen partners from Belgium, France, Germany, U.K., Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland are involved in the project. They represent a unique network of water-related expertise. The project's objective to generate useful information about public participation in RBMP will be supported by external advisers constituting a stakeholder platform. Representatives from NGOs, local government, policy making, water industry and farming will accompany the project as external advisers during its implementation. Since the beginning of the project in November 2002, the project partners have already received a lot of interest from the public. The project ends in October 2005. Project findings and results will be made available throughout and after the project. The scientific achievements will be documented in the form of reports, an electronic newsletter and on this website. Another important project output - a practical handbook - will address the needs of practitioners in RBMP. The handbook will help to increase practitioners' understanding of participatory river basin management planning in Europe and they will be supported to apply the project findings.

HarmoniCOP will make use of nine case studies carried out in nine European countries. As the cultural context will differ during these field experiences, the case studies function as a means of gaining a deeper understanding of participatory processes in Europe. To structure the project according to its tasks, work packages can be found that guide you through the project web pages.
The project team likes to encourage everybody that is interested in HarmoniCOP or has questions that are not answered under FAQs to use the forum. Project participants will be happy to receive your contributions or to answer your questions.