Inter - Ministerial Water Council (ex - Water Task Force)

In order to advance the water sector reform in the country, the Government of Kosovo (GoK) has established the Water Task Force (WTF) in 2008. WTF was an inter-ministerial decision-making body with the tasks to advance the water sector related policy and strategy framework and related action plans and to serve as platform coordinating the efforts of the domestic and external actors in reforming the sector (http://www.kryeministri-ks.net/tfu/?page=2,1).

 

During the 3rd meeting of the WTF on March 24th, 2010 it was agreed that the WTF should be transformed in a more permanent institution. Accordingly an Inter-Ministerial Water Council (IMWC) was introduced in the draft of the new water law that was ultimately approved by the Parliament in March 2013 and promulgated by the President in April 2013. Consequently, the Government of Kosova decided to establish the IMWC in its Cabinet meeting of September 19th, 2013. Based on this decision, the IMWC is anchored at Prime Minister level, made up of Ministers and ensures the overall coordination of water sector development in the country.


According to the provisions of the water law (articles 15-19), the “IMWC is a coordinating and decision-making body that examines the systematic issues of water, harmonization of the different needs and interests, and proposes measures for the development, utilization and protection of water resources and system of Kosovo”. In terms of highest pertinence, the IMWC members shall consist of the Ministers of Economic Development, of Environment and Spatial Planning, of Local Government Administration and of European Integration (four line Ministries) and headed by the Prime Minister. Donors (Switzerland as lead coordinator of water donor community, plus another active sector donor) are non-voting members of the IMWC.


The functions given to the IMWC by law are to provide opinions and recommendations for: a) proposals for laws and other sub-legal acts relating to the regulation of matters of the water sector in general; b) the implementation of laws and other sub-legal acts relating to water management; c) drafting and approval of the National Water Strategy; d) policy development in the field of water; and e) resolving the financial policy in the water sector. The IMWC is expected to meet at 3-4 months interval, based on materials prepared by its Secretariat. The IMWC has drafted its working regulation that will have to be approved by the Government soon, whereas the Government’s budget will provide the financial funds for the expenses of the body. The IMWC shall report annually to the Government and Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo.


The Council has its Secretariat which is supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office through two full-time permanent advisors and two part-time intermittent advisors (a legal expert and a water economics expert) seconded to the Office of the Prime Minister, as well as an administrative assistant and other international and national short-term experts, as per needs. These advisors and experts shall actively and regularly assist on demand the IMWC in its work and report to the IMWC Chairperson.