International action - why not get involved?

A great many project leaders from the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica basins are developing cooperation and solidarity projects at international level as part of decentralized cooperation. Why not get involved?


The French legal framework allows French local authorities to conclude cooperation agreements with foreign local authorities on international cooperation and solidarity activities in the areas of water and treatment:

  • Chapter IV of the “ATR Law” of 6 February 1992 deals with “decentralized cooperation”: it authorizes local and regional authorities to carry out projects with their foreign counterparts as part of twinning or cooperation agreements, whilst respecting France’s international commitments;

  • The “Oudin-Santini” law of 9 February 2005 authorizes local and regional authorities, water or treatment syndicates and water agencies to devote up to 1% of income from water or treatment services to international solidarity actions in the areas of water supply, treatment, fighting pollution or preserving water resources.

  • The “Thiollière” Law of 2 February 2007 no longer obliges local and regional authorities to prove the local interest of international actions if these are done under a cooperation agreement; the law also protects emergency aid from French local and regional authorities to countries in crisis or those that fall victim to natural disasters.

  • The law on the orientation and scheduling of development and international solidarityof 7 July 2014, known as the “Canfin” Law, recognizes the concept of “external action by local authorities” in its article 14, which covers the various actions carried out or supported by local authorities internationally. External action by local authorities is becoming a general competence.


The water agency and its partners can help you to structure your projects, technically and financially.

The Rhone Mediterranean Corsica Agency

The agency provides financial and technical support to project leaders in the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica basins that are planning international cooperation and solidarity activities and that respect the agency’s conditions for providing aid.

Since the commitment made in 2012 at the World Water Forum in Marseille by the Chairs of the Agencies’ basin commissions, the objective of the Rhone Mediterranean Corsica agency is to devote 1% of its budget to international cooperation actions, which amounts to 5 million euros per year.

  • Are you a project leader from the basin and want to get involved? Consult the page “help with international cooperation“.

  • You have a project but are looking for partners (local and regional authorities or associations) to support you?

    • Send us your project (link to your project file) and we will try to establish a contact.

    • Consult the projects in need of project leaders and financiers


78 projets were subsidized by the agency in 2015 for the sum of 4 million euros.

€1 invested by an authority = € 5 mobilized through joint funding

1 to 2€ / year / household is the average users’ contribution under the Oudin-Santini law.

The Water Solidarity Program (pS-Eau)

This is a network open to French and foreign organizations involved in the water, treatment and solidarity sectors. Its objective is to increase and improve the quality and quantity of projects in these sectors. pS-Eau has a branch in Lyon, offering local support to stakeholders in the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica basins.
pS-Eau and its partners initiated the campaign ”elected officials for water”. Launched in 2015 on the anniversary of the Oudin-Santini Law, it calls on elected officials committed to cooperation in the area of water and treatment to become ambassadors for decentralized cooperation and mobilize other elected officials around them. (Download the “elected officials for water” charter (PDF, 236 Ko)).

The Regional Multi-Stakeholder Networks (RRMA)

The RRMA are in every region of the Rhone-Mediterranean basin and aim to strengthen the involvement and improve the quality of actions undertaken internationally and in France in all areas of cooperation and solidarity. As regional representatives in the heart of the regions, the RRMA are involved alongside local and national public policies, which they contribute to building up, leading and developing. The following are present in the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica basins:

  • Resacoop (Auvergne Rhone Alps Region)

  • Cercoop (Burgundy Franche Comté Region)

  • Territoires Solidaires (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region)

  • Occitanie Coopération (Occitania Region)

Skills Sponsorship:

Private or association-based stakeholders with skills in the area of water may also provide support. They may be stakeholders such as the Veolia Foundation, Aquassistance, the Arélia Foundation, etc.