For the benefit of the Rhine and of all waters running into the Rhine, the members of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) – Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and the European Commission successfully co-operate with Austria, Liechtenstein and the Belgian region of Wallonia as well as Italy. Nine states and regions in the Rhine watershed closely co-operate in order to harmonize the many interests of use and protection in the Rhine area. Focal points of work are sustainable development of the Rhine, its alluvial areas and the good state of all waters in the watershed.
Working- and expert groups with clearly defined mandates work on all relevant technical issues arising from the implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the Rhine and from European law. Decisions are taken in the annual plenary assembly. The Conference of Rhine Ministers takes decisions in matters of political importance and establishes the basis for coherent, co-ordinated programmes of measure.
In the last decade of the last century the ICPR-activities were a model for many other river basins.
The co-operation along the Rhine was also behind the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Management directive of the EU.
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. 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.