The EaP region was unable to completely eradicate waste and wastewater before the pandemic, facing greater challenges during the epidemiological crisis. This policy paper by the EaP Civil Society Forum highlights significant differences in waste and water management between Association Agreement signatories (Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine), which have managed to approximate their legislation to the European standards, and the other three EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus).
To minimise the consequences of the inadequate measures taken during the pandemic in the waste and water management sectors, the policy paper recommends EaP governments to implement further reforms of both sectors and to intensify the cooperation with the EU. Moreover, the paper advises EaP governments to introduce and prioritise waste hierarchy, waste separation, sorting and recycling, especially beyond urban areas. Furthermore, governments should improve water supplies in rural areas, by also upgrading wastewater treatment facilities.