Inspired by the European experience of founding the Coal and Steel Community and exploiting the advantages of nations cooperating in a community, this project focuses on applying a similar approach of a "community concept" to the political and strategic issues dealing with water, energy and the environment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The EWE project was initiated by HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and former Czech President Václav Havel and is a long-term initiative that aims to address issues surrounding environmental security.
No single country can deal with energy, water, and environmental problems and conflicts alone. What are missing are integrated trans-border and regional level institutional governance structures.
The EWE project sees its purpose in identifying structures and governance regimes that would fit the region, and in developing an effective and coherent framework necessary for their implementation. At the same time the EWE project adds bottom-up action as a necessary counterpart and condition for developing institutions. It encourages the emergence of communities of academics, legal practitioners, policy makers, civil society leaders, commerce and industry.
This approach - network and cooperative regime building - is in line with the aim to find new ways for handling disputes within the MENA region and has much potential in the promotion of peace.
The EWE aims to facilitate the development and implementation of a number of well-established projects that address environmental security in the Middle East through the promotion of a regional epistemic community with substantial policy credibility.
The EWE will engage the policy community and opinion formers from across the region in order to build an influential network of scientific experts, policymakers and specialists. Specific activities of this long-term undertaking include workshops, surveys and researches, reports and expert reviews, simulations and conferences.