Zuhal Demir is working on a coalition for the European Blue Deal

5 September 2023
Zuhal Demir

Flemish Minister of Environment Zuhal Demir wants other European Member States to use the example of the Flemish Blue Deal in their fight against drought and water scarcity. With the support of the entire Flemish Government, she is working on a coalition of Member States that advocate a European Blue Deal. “The Blue Deal is our strong response to tackling extreme weather events in Flanders and is urgently needed in the fight against the effects of climate change, such as drought and floods. Climate adaptation receives too little attention at the European level, and the ideal way to scale up our Blue Deal is to let the initiative trickle down to as many Member States as possible.” Demir is also arguing within Belgium for the possible European Blue Deal to be put on the agenda at an upcoming European Environment Council meeting.

Flanders has a particularly solid story with the Blue Deal to tackle water scarcity systematically. Zuhal Demir called for this at the UN summit in New York earlier this year. She made a case there for a global Blue Deal between the countries of the United Nations. She challenged fellow government leaders to join forces to ensure water availability for future generations.

Decisive change of course

Zuhal Demir: “We have come a long way, but with the Blue Deal, Flanders chose decisively to change course. We take on the water challenge every day anew in Flanders. Never before has so much been invested in our wetlands and our water supply to combat drought. We are turning Flanders into land that is resilient regarding water. We are removing concrete and greening and turning Flanders back into a sponge again. However, this challenge extends beyond our national borders. Our Blue Deal can be a blueprint for better climate adaptation policies throughout Europe, and that is why we are pushing for more international cooperation in this area.”

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