First Meeting of the Management Committee of COST Action 634 "On- and Off-site Environmental Impacts of Runoff and Erosion"

Brussels, 19 April 2004



Dr. E. Fulajtar, Science Officer for the Environmental Domain of COST welcomed the delegations on behalf of T. Mayer the Director of the COST Office.


The agenda was adopted.


At the request of Science Officer, the delegates introduced themselves in turn. Annex 1 gives the list of participating delegates.


The Science Officer explained shortly the background and the basic principles of the COST Co-operation. He provided an overview of COST history and the mechanism of its functioning.


The Science Officer reminded the committee about the status of the Action starting from the proposing and evaluating procedure, approval of the MoU and its Technical Annex and focusing on the status of the signatory procedure. Later this information was presented also by Dr. V. Auzet, the proposer of the Action, as introduction information for the discussion on work plan of the Action.


The Science Officer presented to the delegates a draft of the new "Rules of procedure" prepared at the new COST Office. The Committee discussed these rules point by point and approved them without amendments (ANNEX 2).


The 'proposer' (A.V. Auzet) presented the action, which was build on expertise of COST 623 « Soil Erosion & Global Change » and COST 832 « Quantifying the Agricultural Contribution to Eutrophication » and mainly prepared by A.-V. Auzet, J. Boardman, K. Helming, M. Kirkby, J. Poesen, J. Rejman, P. Withers.

Current status of the COST action:

The history of the proposal, the main objectives of the Action and of the three planned Working Groups (WG1 'Policy issues in the implementation of sustainable land use'; WG2 'Sustainable Farm-Scale Management' and WG3 'Catchment integration of On- and Off-site effects') and the cross cutting issues were summarised. The full text is on the website. Since the approval by the COST Scientific Officer (CSO) the 3rd of October 2003, 15 countries have signed the action and 5 started the procedure. The countries who joined the action are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republik, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Swiss, Turkey and UK.

Organisational structure

The organisational structure is proposed: due to the size of the Action, a Steering Committee including the Chair and Vice-chair persons, the WGs coordinators (2 for each WG) and an End-user representative will assist the Chair person, prepare the decisions to be discussed and taken by the Management Committee (MC) and ensure the coherence of the whole action.

To achieve the objectives a first common meeting of the 3 WGs should take place soon: this meeting will allow brain storming and definition of the plans for the first years of the Action, planned for 4 years. We would also seek to collaborate actively with contributors to the EU soil Protection policy. . Several potential participants to the action have already contributed during the last year to the strategy documents. Particular attention to the interactions between WGs will be ensured by some joint meetings.

In addition to managing the Action, the Management Committee is also strongly encouraged to foster interactions between the WGs, to provide opportunities for researchers to meet within their own country. We should make effective use of Sh to use this support as soon as possible and to stimulate the requests in 2004. The proposer suggested to delegate the evaluation of the STSM requests to an assessment panel.

Regular informations on the Action and WGs will be given through the website.

After the presentation on these objectives, working plan, programme and method, the proposer suggested a 'panel' of chair persons and WGs coordinators as following:

  • Chair & vice chair: A.-Véronique Auzet & Katharina Helming
  • WGs co-chairs:

WG1 (Policy issues): John Boardman (UK) & 'X'

WG2 (Catchment integration): Victor Jetten (NL) & Mike Kirkby (UK)

WG3 (Farm scale): Preben Olsen (DK) & 'Y'

Candidates for co-coordinator of WG1 and WG3 were not yet proposed: ideally, they should work on the thematic of the WG and complete the 'international' character of the Steering Committee. After discussion, Jerzy Rejman (Poland) accepted to become WG3 co-cordinator.


The proposer suggested to vote for the panel on the basis of organisational structure, working plan, programme and method presented. The result of the vote is positive (unanimity).

Questions discussed

  • relations with other COST Actions

  • possible size of WG meetings (maximum number of people eligible for reimbursement

  • importance of the first joint WG meeting in Autumn (end of September or Oktober): a place has to be find, which allow common sessions and separate discussion groups for the three WGs; ideally, the place should allow maximum brainstorming formally during the session or unformally later. The possibilities to organize this first meeting in Brussels or in one of the Eastern country (Czech Republik, Poland, Slovakia) have to be explored int the two next weeks.

Distribution of tasks

An initial list of proposed meetings is presented (see below), on the basis of suggestions received by the proposer until the 1st MC meeting. It was decided to discuss more in detail the strategy of the meetings, and the fit to the WGs programm during the initial meeting in Autumn.

  • Introductory meeting (autumn 2004)

  • Quantifying the delivery of sediment and sediment bound P to surface and groundwaters (Lancaster, UK, J. Quinton)

  • Modelling & monitoring (jan 2005, Belfast, D.Favis Mortlock & V. Jetten)

  • Soil protection strategy for farm & catchment scale, policies to support best practices
    (N-W. France, A. Matthieu & al.)

  • Environmental impacts of runoff and erosion in ….. (Poland, J. Rejman)

  • Counting & cutting the cost of erosion: challenges for research, management and policy (Exeter, UK, June 2006, N. Kuhn)


It was decided to mandate the steering committee to define more in detail the programm and to find the location for the initial meeting.


The MC meeting finished at 3pm and was followed by a steering committee meeting of around one hour.


Cost Action 634 : Steering Committee Meeting

Brussels, 19 April 2004



  • Preparation of the 1st joint WGs meeting, Autumn 2004

  • STSM assesment

  • Others...

Preparation of the 1st joint WGs meeting, Autumn 2004

When ?

preferably October, or the last week of September, from thursday to saturday (departure on Sunday for APEX tickets)

Where ?

Prague, Brussels, or somewhere else which will offer good conditions for the plenary sessions and WGs discussion groups. Decision has to be done hopefully within the two next weeks.

Preliminary program :

  • Day 1 : plenary session organised by WG1 on national policy initiatives accross scales; national contribution: 15 each

  • Day 2 am: (plenary session) 6 keynote papers, 2 for each WG to provoke discussions (long abstract)

  • Day 2 pm: discussions in WGs. What should be the future work of the working group; foster research in topics where substantial progress can be made ; introduction by WG chair person.

  • Day 2 evening: steering committee meeting.

  • Day 3 am: plenary session: report back from discussion WG sessions and general discussion

  • Day 3 pm: MC meeting


  • Rooms: 1 for plenary session (around 100 participants, day 1 pm, day 2 am, day 3 am), 3 for parallel sessions of WG discussions (Day 2 pm);

  • Accommodation: possibly everyone in the same place to allow the continuation of discussions

STSM assessment

The steering committee will act as an assessment panel until the next MC meeting in autumn. Decisions will be based on a minimum of three responses to ensure a rapid response. The main objective is to give the possibilities to people to use this support as much as possible in 2004. Announcement and forms have to be put on the web site.


WG meeting participants: preferably the same according to the WG or according to the main issues of the meeting?

  • Fairly impossible for large countries, people should have a chance to contribute

  • responsibilities of MC members to nominate people eligible for reimbursement

Input from new members, include strengthening contacts with phosphorous group

SGM and steering committee in Poland on September 19, before the 1st joint WG meeting, also to foster interdisciplinary research of Polish colleagues (participation to the last day of the National Conference on 'Development and protection of environment in areas susceptible to erosion')




Strauss Peter


Poesen Jean

Czech Republic:

Dostal Tomas


Auzet Ann-Veronique

Souchere Veronique


Helming Katharina


Kertesz Adam

Sisak Istvan


Torri Dino


Janskauskas Benediktas


Jetten Viktor

Sterk Greet


Borresen Trond

Oygarden Lilian


Rejman Jerzy


Morarescu Vionel

Popa Nelu


Stankoviansky Milos

Styk Jan


Gallart Francesc

Calvo-Casej Adolfo


Prasuhn Volker

United Kingdom:

Boardman John

Kirkby Mike



for the Management Committee of the Action

COST Action 634

Article 1

The Management Committee for COST Action 634 (hereinafter the "MC") has been set up in accordance with the provision of Chapter 8 in the document COST 400/01 "Rules and Procedures for Implementing COST Actions" (hereinafter the "R & P"). The MC shall consist of no more than two representatives for each Signatory and no more than one representative for each non-COST institution admitted to participate in the Action (hereinafter the "members of the MC").

The members of the MC shall be appointed for the duration of the Action. The secretariat of the MC (hereinafter the "Secretariat") shall be notified of any amendments to such appointments.

Article 2

The main responsibilities of the MC are defined in particular in Chapter 8 of the R & P with some additional provisions in Chapters 9, 10 and 11.

Article 3

Each Signatory shall have one vote in the MC. If a member representing a Signatory is unable to attend, this power is delegated to an officially appointed deputy. Members representing non-COST institutions have the right to express their views but not to vote.

Article 4

The members of the MC may appoint experts or advisors to accompany them. Attendance at the meeting shall be strictly limited to members and their appointed experts or advisors as well as to specialists invited in connection with specific items on the Agenda.

The names of the experts, advisors or specialists shall be communicated to the Secretariat before each meeting.

Subject to the approval of the MC, any member may also invite representatives of international organisations or experts from non-signatory States to participate as observers in some of its activities in accordance with requirements.

Article 5

The MC may decide that some of its discussions or certain Minutes of meetings and other documents be considered confidential. Documents are not considered confidential unless this is clearly stated on the front page.

The information supplied by the members of the MC shall not be published without their agreement.

Article 6

If in the course of this Action results are obtained or expected, which could give rise to intellectual (industrial or non industrial) property rights, the MC shall take the necessary steps, be it by written agreement among the participants or otherwise, in order to protect these rights, with respect to the principles set out in the brochure "Industrial property rights in the context of COST" and in Chapter 11 of the R & P.

Article 7

The MC shall appoint from among its members representing Signatories, by a simple majority vote, a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson for one year. The appointment of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be renewable.

If the Chairperson is unable to attend, his/her place shall be taken by the Vice-Chairperson.

In the event of the premature termination of the appointment of the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, they shall be replaced for the remainder of the term of office in question, again by a simple majority vote.

Article 8

Meetings of the MC shall be officially held only if at least two-thirds of the Signatories are represented.

The decisions of the MC shall be taken by a simple majority of the Signatories present and voting. If appropriate, a secret ballot may be carried out and the votes shall be counted by the Secretariat. In the event of a tie, the procedure may be repeated.

Article 9

The MC shall be convened by the Chairperson as often as required for the performance of its tasks, at least twice a year.

It may also be convened at the request of members representing at least three Signatories.

Article 10

The Secretariat of the MC shall be provided by the COST-Office, according to Chapter 8, paragraph 5 of the R & P.

Article 11

Correspondence shall be dealt with by the Secretariat, which shall be responsible for all contact with the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and members of the MC.

The Secretariat will receive copies of all correspondence.

Documents to be distributed by the Secretariat at the meetings should be sent at least three weeks before, for their duplication. For last minute documents to be distributed during meeting sessions, a sufficient number of copies should be brought, in order to avoid duplication on the spot. Whenever possible, documents should be duplicated and mailed by the authors directly to the participants and the Secretariat.

The Secretariat will maintain master copies of all documents.

Article 12

Meetings shall be held where the MC considers it advisable to meet at the invitation of an institution in a signatory State. The COST-Office shall, however, only undertake the organisation of the meetings held in Brussels.

The cost of organisation of meetings elsewhere shall be borne by the host country.

Article 13

The working language of the MC is English. Documents from the Secretariat will be issued in that language.

Article 14

The travelling expenses incurred by and allowances due to a maximum of two members and for a maximum of three meetings per year of the MC will be borne by the COST budget for representatives of a Signatory eligible for reimbursement. Details of the reimbursement are covered by the valid document 'COST-OFFICE Rules for reimbursement of expenses for experts eligible for reimbursement'

Article 15

These rules of procedure may be amended by the MC following a valid vote as long as the changes do not contravene the 'Rules and Procedures for implementing COST Actions' or adversely affect the functioning of the Action. Proposals for the amendment of these rules shall be circulated one month prior to their discussion to the members of the MC and to the COST-Office.