Issue No.9 Summer
(July 2005)


ENS News

ENS President's Contribution

Tapping Unusual Quarters

ENS Events

ETRAP 2005

ENC 2005

PIME 2006

RRFM 2006

Topnux 2006

Member Societies & Corporate Members

News from Germany

News from Romania

News from Czech Republic

YGN Report

Forum 2005

Jan Runermark Award

European Institutions


FORATOM on Baltic sea Region

ENS World News

Japan: green light for Monju

NucNet News

Greenpeace Co-Founder


Karlsruhe Research Center invites applications

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff

ETRAP 2005

ETRAP 2005
23-25 November 2005 in Brussels


RRFM 2006RRFM 2006

RRFM 2006
30 April - 3 May 2006 in Sofia, Bulgaria















Community waste management: an EC-funded initiative

What is COWAM 2?

The COWAM (Community Waste Management) project is a European-Commission funded initiative that began back in 2000 with EU money from the EU’s Fifth Framework Programme for research (FP5). The initial COWAM project covered the period 2000-2003. COWAM 2 took over the baton in 2003 and will continue until 2006. The work of COWAM 2 centres on input from the 5 Work Packages (WPs). Each WP covers a different specialized area of research. These areas are as follows:

  • Implementing local democracy and participatory methods

  • Influencing local actors involved in the national decision-making process

  • The Quality of decision-making processes

  • Long term governance

  • Integration and knowledge management

The main objective of COWAM 2 is to find mechanisms for involving local communities more in the decision-making process that determines where waste management plants should be sited. The COWAM 2 team’s work has been carried out into a number of diverse fields of research that look at both technical and societal issues. Among the many areas of research currently under the microscope are information and communication campaigns, stakeholder dialogue, local governance, financing and compensation and ethical guidelines for governing the decision-making process.

Report on the July seminar

The Annual Seminar of COWAM 2 took place in Ljubljana, on 6+7 July 2005. 140 delegates from 10 countries congregated in the pretty Slovenian capital to discuss a range of important topics related to increasing public involvement in the selection process for locating future waste management sites.

The first Plenary Session on Day 1 of the Annual Seminar was devoted to an analysis of the situation in the host country. Slovenia has one NPP, at Krsko, one research reactor and one uranium mine that is soon to be closed. The NPP is a joint venture run with neighbouring Croatia. The session kicked off with an opening address from Slovenia’s Economy Minister, Andrej Vizjak.
He stressed the importance of gaining public confidence and consent for local waste management projects and of adopting a clear methodological approach to site location as a means of achieving public acceptance.

The highlight of Day 2 was the presentation to conference of the WPs’ status reports. Each WP presented the latest state of play with its work, delivered fresh data and fielded questions from the conference floor. The current situation can be summarized as follows:

WP1 is focusing on maximizing the effectiveness of local stakeholder committees, assessing tools for informing and educating citizens more effectively and measuring levels of local support.

WP2 is studying ways of establishing best practices for local actors to play a full role in the decision-making process, more specifically by setting up stakeholder reference groups (SRGs) that meet and dialogue regularly with local and national authorities. These SRGs involve stakeholders at every stage of the process.

WP3 is concentrating on analyzng how to promote improvements in the quality of the decision-making process. It gives practical recommendations on how to design and implement a “robust” decision-making process and on how to involve stakeholders better at every stage of that process.

WP4 has developed, as part of its analysis of long term governance issues, a set of ethical guidelines that should underpin how everyone involved contributes to the process. The guidelines that it has identified are responsibility, justice and democracy. It also reported on its research into financing systems, which takes account of socio-economic factors and analyzes related issues like benefit sharing and compensation.

Finally, WP5 is concentrating on integrating the work of all the WPs so that the COWAM 2 end product – primarily the Final Report and Recommendations that it will deliver in July 2006 - accurately reflects the work done by the WP teams and the synergies that exist between the various study fields.

The presentation of WP5 served as a prelude to the last Plenary Session, which was devoted to analysis of the national delegations’ status reports (“National Insights”).


The COWAM 2 Annual Seminar highlighted the problems and successes that the project has encountered so far. The results vary greatly from country to country because each one has a different stakeholder culture and tradition for local participation in decision-making. Predicting how much improved governance will help more waste management sites to be built is difficult to do. Across Europe, the COWAM picture is mixed one, with both positive and negative. However in spite of these problems, the COWAM 2 project has been a very useful exercise. It has helped focus the mind of all parties involved on the importance of gaining the acceptance and support of local populations before building a new waste management site. It has helped all parties to acquire the necessary governance skills and should, hopefully, deliver a positive end result. The Final Report will tell us more about how exactly successful it has been. For more details on the work of the COWAM 2 group, consult the dedicated website at:

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