Effective water governance: the case of lake constance as model

Stipendiatin/Stipendiat: Julia Szulecka

While global environmental governance and the notion of sustainable development are seen as very important and are well established both in European policy-making and scholarship, there is a strong need for best practices in these areas to be promoted in the New EU member states ? such as Poland and the Czech Republic. The experiences acquired by environmental leaders like Germany, once learning on own mistakes, can prove very helpful in solving certain issues in East-Central Europe. One such issue is effective water governance. Lake Constance (Bodensee) is an example of trans-boundary cooperation in governing water. The experiences of long-term political cooperation between Germany (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria), Austria and Switzerland can prove very important for the pressing problems of the Oder (Odra) river ? shared by the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. These problems include high pollution of the river itself (therefore adding to the pollution of the Baltic See), but also crisis management in cases of floods ? which cause both vast environmental and developmental damages. This project is an attempt to describe and assess the governance patterns of the policy network established around Lake Constance, and to propose certain solutions for the growing cooperation around the Oder, facilitated by the EU membership of all three partners.The project is set on the boundaries of scholarship and applied, policy-oriented expertise. It aims at an in-depth study of the policy network established around Lake Constance, with special focus on the International Conference of Lake Constance (IBK), the Environmental Council of Lake Constance (UB) and the International Commission for the Protection of Lake Constance (IGKB). Through a series of interviews and an analysis of the network?s structure, a description of the researched object would be accomplished. The next step would be the assessment of the network?s effectiveness in coping with environmental problems. The conclusion should provide a set of best practices which could then be proposed as possible benchmarks for the transnational cooperation around the Oder river. A case-study of the network around Lake Constance can be an important example in the current scientific debate on the possibilities and limits for transnational (environmental) governance. It is, at the same time, be an empirical test for the concept of policy networks, illustrating their work in practice. Additionally, it relates to the debate on institutional effectiveness present in political science literature. The project should prove relevant in policy-making, providing important guidelines for transnational water governance in other regions, with specific focus on Poland/Czech Republic and Germany. It can show how existing political frameworks of trans-boundary cooperation (such as the Euroregion Pro Europa Viadrina and other) should be used, and how they need to be supplemented, for sustainable development goals to be fulfilled.

01.03.2009 - 28.02.2010

Bodensee-Stiftung Internationale Stiftung für Natur und Kultur

Marion Hammerl

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