29 September – 1 October

European rivers summit 2022

Brussels – Belgium


European rivers SUMMIT


Wetlands International EuropeEuroNaturGEOTARiverwatch and WWF Adria invite you
to the third European Rivers Summit in Brussels, Belgium from 29 September to 1 October.

The European Rivers Summit aims to inspire a movement of connected citizens in Europe to protect and restore European rivers, fight new dams and remove obsolete barriers. Healthy rivers are essential to delivering the European Green Deal and we aim to connect river champions around Europe to policy-makers in Brussels, with a two-day conference plus a third day to visit a river restoration site.

The event will inform attendees on the most important policy issues, big ideas and latest science around healthy rivers, and engage directly with Brussels as the home of the European Commission and Parliament in defending healthy rivers for people across Europe. We will also explore the power of communicating about rivers in film and art and see the transformative power of restoring urban rivers.

Programme coming soon!

Questions? E-mail us: info@riverssummit.org

» 18:30 – 20:00 | Pre-summit event in the European Parliament

“Dam Busters – Restoring Europe’s Rivers” – a policy discussion

WWF and MEP César Luena are organising a policy event on the restoration of free-flowing rivers in Europe, held in the European Parliament. The event will include the projection of the short movieDam Busters – Restoring Europe’s Rivers”. It will be followed by a panel discussion on the EU Nature Restoration Law and the need to include an ambitious framework for the restoration of free-flowing rivers, with distinguished speakers from the European Parliament and Member States. A cocktail reception will follow.

Registration: Please note that a separate, free registration will be required for this event due to personal data needed to access the European Parliament. The registration link will be sent to registered participants of the European Rivers Summit when it is available later in August. Because the capacity of the room is limited, we advise you to register as soon as possible if you are interested in attending.

Location: European Parliament


» 8:30 - 9:30 | Registration and coffee
» Intro & Keynotes
  • Welcome by moderator – Yurena Lorenzo, Wetlands International Europe
  • Keynote address – Ulli Eichelmann – the Heart of a River Activist – Riverwatch, Save the Blue Heart of Europe followed by Q & A
  • Keynote address – MEP Marie Toussaint – Inspiring environmental activism and Rights for Nature followed by Q & A


» Coffee And Networking Break
» The European Green Deal – policies and activism for rivers
  • Bold Action Needed – The State of Europe’s Rivers – Claire Baffert, WWF EPO
  • Nature Restoration Law – New Opportunities for restoring rivers – Sergiy Moroz, European Environmental Bureau
  • Renewable Energy – the fight against hydropower in the Green Deal– Bruna Campos, EuroNatur
  • The threats to rivers from transportation – Wouter Langhout, Save Polesia
  • Policy roundtable with Q & A
» Attention Decision-Makers

Our Demands – Environment, Energy, Accession, Human Rights, Youth, Conny Wieser, Riverwatch

» Human Rights and River Activism
  • MEP Tilly Metz, Environmentalist & Human rights defender (Invited)
  • River activism around the world – Bonnie Barclay, International Rivers
  • More to be confirmed
  • Roundtable with Q & A
» Your river – your fight. River activism around Europe
  • Hydropower plant Komarnica Montenegro – Nina Pantović, Spasimo Komarnicu
  • Hydropower in Greece – Zografia Karekou, SOS MAINALO
  • Protecting Rivers in Portugal – Catarina Miranda, GEOTA
  • Mega-project Kaunertal in Austrian Alps – Bettina Urbanek, WWF Austria
» Communicating the power of free-flowing rivers
  • Danijel Lonĉar
  • Heather Bond, Wetlands International Europe
  • Andrea Goltara, Italian Centre for River Restoration
  • Making people give a dam about rivers – Sampsa Vilhunen, WWF Finland
» 18:00 | BREAK
» River Film Festival

The film festival features #DamBusters world premiere and other short films.

Exact time and location  details are coming soon!

» 09:00 | Arrival
» Intro & Keynotes
  • Day 2 Introduction by moderator – Yurena Lorenzo, Wetlands International Europe
  • Keynote address – Saving the Loire, wild rivers and busting dams in France – Roberto Epple, European Rivers Network followed by Q & A
  • More to be confirmed
» River Heroes & DamBusters – Promising Tools for River Activism
  • Tell the Dam Truth Campaign – Gary Wockner, River Warrior
  • Creating a movement – Dam Removal Europe – Pao Garrido Fernandez, World Fish Migration Foundation 
  • Banning small hydropower in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Lejla Kusturica, Foundation Atelier for Community Transformation (ACT)
» Celebrating our Successes - Permanent protection for Europe’s Rivers
  • Transboundary river protection, Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve – Ivana Korn Varga, WWF Adria
  • Vjosa Wild River National Park, Albania – Besjana Guri, EcoAlbania 
  • Success Stories in the Balkans – Dragana Mileusnic, The Nature Conservancy 
  • Roundtable with Q & A (Including Roberto Epple)
» Youth Activism & Rivers
  • Scientists for Rivers – Inspiring scientists, students, and river defenders – Vera Knook, the River Collective 
  • Alessandro Carretto, Youth for the Rhine
  • More to be confirmed
» Wrap up plenary discussion – The future of river activism, EU Policy and Our Demands
» Closing the Third European River Summit & Outlook
» 18:00 | End of Day 2
» 18:30 – 22:00 | DINNER & ENTERTAINMENT

Location to be confirmed

» 10:00 – 14:00 | Urban river restoration

Field visit to view the daylighting of the Senne River in Brussels.

Get your tickets!

Ticket price includes admission to the European Rivers Summit on 29 and 30 September, lunch both days and all-day coffee, tea, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks on-site; entry to the European Rivers Film Festival on the evening of 29 September followed by a reception with drinks and light food; and a field excursion on 1 October. Stay tuned as more perks may be announced!

Hotel booking at a preferential rate will be possible with a link upon registration.

Please note that the event may sell out due to the capacity of the venue!


Ulrich Eichelmann


Marie Toussaint

Member, European Parliament; founder of Notre Affaire à tous

Gary Wockner

Save the Poudre, Save the Colorado, Save the World’s Rivers

César Luena

Member, European Parliament

Dragana Mileusnic

The Nature Conversancy – TNC

Bruna Campos


Pao Fernandez Garrido

World Fish Migration Foundation

Yurena Lorenzo

Wetlands International Europe

Claire Baffert speaker 2022

Claire Baffert

WWF European Policy Office

Sergiy Moroz

European Environmental Bureau

Sampsa Vilhunen

WWF Finland

Bonnie Barclay

International Rivers

Heather Bond

Wetlands International Europe

Vera Knook

The River Collective

Lejla Kusturica

Atelier for Community Transformation

Andrea Goltara

Managing Director at the Italian Centre for River Restoration (CIRF)

Cornelia Wieser


Besjana Guri


Wouter Langhout

Frankfurt Zoological Society

Catarina Miranda

Rios Livres GEOTA

Bettina Urbanek

WWF Austria

Alessandro Caretto

Youth for the Rhine

Ivana Korn Varga

WWF Adria

Alexandra Pappa


Danijel Loncar

Independent Storyteller

Nina Pantović

Save Kormanica


The first European Rivers Summit was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2018 and the second in Lisbon, Portugal in 2021.


Celebrating free rivers, clean water, and freshwater life.


More information is coming soon!

European Rivers Summit 2022

Venue: Le Bouche à Oreille
11 Rue Félix Hap, Etterbeek, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Dates: 29 September morning until the 1st of October afternoon.
Accommodation: you will receive more information on reduced accommodation prices after your registration.

Contact details:


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Partner organisations
Supported by

This event is supported by the European Commission through LIFE NGO funding. The proceedings reflect only the organiser’s views. The contents can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

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