During the year the Topic Centre has been asked by the Agency to carry out a number of tasks which were not covered by the original work programme. These have ranged from answering letters of enquiry to the Agency on water topics, commenting on draft scoping studies and other documents (especially that concerned with the review of the 5th Environmental Action Programme), attending meetings and writing technical papers on behalf of the Agency or in the Topic Centre’s own right (e.g. at EEA meetings such as Integrated environmental Assessment, proposed new Topic Centre discussion meetings, Information Technology and Telematics Advisory Group ITTAG, and its working sub-groups, and at non-EEA meetings such as those concerned with the Ecological Directive, Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, European Directives and policies generally). Meetings for the purposes of contact and liaison have been held with Eurostat, UN-ECE Task Force on Monitoring, the Oslo and Paris Commissions and the European Court of Auditors.

The partners of the Topic Centre are pleased to cooperate in this provision of ad hoc support to the Agency. It is regarded as a valuable role for the Topic Centre and is a recognition by the Agency and the European Community at large that the ETC/IW is a European centre of excellence in all matters relating to inland waters.

The Topic Centre takes satisfaction that it has achieved the objectives of the 1994 work programme especially in terms of its programmed outputs despite the extra support it has been asked to provide. There is no doubt however that this support has been a drain on the subvention funds of the Topic Centre and that most, if not all partners have exceeded the funds that were assigned to them.

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