The 21st IMPEL General Assembly (GA) meeting took place virtually between 29-30 June 2021. Over 80 members and experts participated. The GA was chaired by Mr José Brito e Silva, Inspector-General of IGAMAOT, Ms Ana Garcia, IMPEL Portuguese coordinator from IGAMAOT and the Chair of IMPEL, Ms Kristina Rabe.
The meeting began with keynote presentations from Portugal and the European Commission. Ms Inês dos Santos Costa, Portuguese Secretary of State for the Environment, provided an overview of the environmental situation and challenges in Portugal and in Europe. Ms Vita Jukne, Head of unit in charge of Environmental Governance at DG Environment, highlighted the challenges of implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation and welcomed the cooperation with IMPEL on this aim.
The main focus for the GA was agreement of governance reform proposals and decision making procedures for the network. A number of proposals were discussed that aim to make clearer and more transparent procedures, to create a more efficient governance structure and to ensure candidates for key positions in the network. New policies covering travel, tendering and project management were agreed as well as a proposal to reorganise the IMPEL board structure and fill the new committees both for Audit and Evaluation and Recruitment. Further discussion will be needed on how to ensure volunteers for key positions in the Board, although the network already agreed that a reliable mechanism is needed and will be decided upon in October. Linked to that, the overall workload especially for Chair positions needs to be reduced.
The GA was updated on the work of the five expert teams on Cross Cutting issues, Industry and Air, Nature Protection, Waste and TFS and Water and Land. Completed projects reports from 2020 were approved on the following:
- CAED Criteria for the assessment of the Environmental Damage (CAED)
- Report on good practices to promote the transition to circular economy in urban and industrial water management: A new water circularity index
- End of life ships
- Supporting implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU)
- National Peer Review Initiative – Phase 2
- Water Crimes
These project reports are all available on the IMPEL website. Remaining projects will be approved by written procedure.
The GA was updated on the work of the Capacity building and training project.
The OECD were approved as an observer to the network.