ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

New President and New Head of Secretariat at the ICPR

On 1st January 2020, the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) gained a new president. On the same date, a change in management took place. In February 2020, the "Rhine2040" programme is to be adopted at the Rhine Ministerial Conference.


New President: Veronica Manfredi

On 1st January 2020 and shortly after the announcement of the European "Green Deal", the European Union took over the presidency of the ICPR from Switzerland. The new President is Veronica Manfredi. She succeeds Martine Rohn-Brossard of Switzerland and will hold the presidency until the end of 2022, when Germany will take over.

Veronica Manfredi has been Director of the "Quality of Life" Directorate in the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission since 2018. Her responsibilities include the protection and management for fresh- and saltwaters, and the control of air pollution and industrial emissions. As a lawyer with a passion for environmental issues, Veronica Manfredi has over 20 years of professional experience at the European Commission, including as Head of Unit in the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers and as a member of the cabinet of former vice-president Siim Kallas. She speaks several languages, including the three ICPR working languages French, German and Dutch.

New Head of Secretariat: Marc Daniel Heintz

At the beginning of the year, the Head of the ICPR Secretariat in Koblenz also changed. The new Head of Secretariat is Marc Daniel Heintz, replacing biologist Dr. Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, who is retiring after more than 30 years at the ICPR, including five years as Head of Secretariat.

Marc Daniel Heintz grew up in Cologne. From 2011 to 2014, the geography graduate worked as a scientific assistant for the Department of Flood Risk Management at the Bavarian Environment Agency. He has spent the past five years at the Municipal drainage and wastewater company of Cologne (Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln), first as project manager for the planned flood retention area Worringen and as deputy managing director of the Flood Competence Centre, later as head of the section for watercourse development. He speaks several languages, including the three ICPR working languages German, French and Dutch.

16th Rhine Ministerial Conference in February 2020

On 13th February 2020, after 7 years, the Rhine Ministerial Conference will take place in Amsterdam. It will mark the 25th anniversary of major flooding along the rivers in the Netherlands, when 250,000 people had to be evacuated. 

The main topic of the 16th Rhine Ministerial Conference will be the adoption of the "Rhine 2040" programme with its objectives for water quality, biodiversity and flood and water scarcity management in the Rhine catchment.


Further information

International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR)

Marc Daniel Heintz

Brief Background

For almost 70 years, Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the European Union have been cooperating in the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) in order to reconcile the many different uses of the river and its protection. Their cooperation is based on a convention under international law. In order to fully implement European directives, this transboundary cooperation was extended to Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and the Belgian region Wallonia.

The new President is Veronica Manfredi, Director at the European Commission. The President and the different ICPR fora are supported by the international staff of the Permanent Secretariat in Koblenz (Germany).

For its successful work since 1950, the ICPR was awarded the European RiverPrize in 2013 and the International Thiess RiverPrize in 2014. For detailed information on the ICPR please see to www.iksr.org.