On 22nd November 2017, the Work Package leaders of the MORPHEUS project took active part in the first meeting of the Baltic Sea Pharma Platform that took place in the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection in Riga. The workshop brought together different projects and policy makers who work with assessing and reducing the effect of pharmaceuticals on the environment in the Baltic Sea Region and beyond. Pharmaceuticals in the environment are one of the focus areas of the Policy Area “Hazards” of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency as coordinator of this policy area initiated the Pharma Platform to initiate exchange among projects operating under different funding schemes (Interreg South Baltic, Interreg Baltic Sea Region, BONUS) and to make sure that the results of these projects are reaching the relevant policy-makers.
For the MORPHEUS partners, this exchange was very fruitful. For instance, they were able to discuss the sampling methodology and the list of pharmaceuticals to be analysed by each partnership with the project CW Pharma that has similar objectives as MORPHEUS, but operates in the whole Baltic Sea Region. The participants were also asked to provide feedback and ideas for further development of the BSR Pharma Platform. MORPHEUS welcomes the platform initiative by the Swedish EPA very much, as it allows for professional exchange with other researchers and practitioners in the field of chemical analysis and wastewater treatment and helps to raise attention and awareness for the important topic of pharmaceutical residues.