Riccardo Petrella

Riccardo Petrella

UCLouvain, College of Europe - Bruges

Economy, Macroeconomy, Globalization, Water Resources, Water Security


Riccardo Petrella is the Initiator and former president of the Lisbon Group,  is an Italian political analyst and economist. Honorary professor at the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve and at the Europa College Bruges, he has taught in many universities around the world. Mr. Petrella worked for the European Commission as supervisor of the FAST-programme (Forecasting and Assessment in Science and Technology). Before that he was secretary-general of the Italian committee for the development of social sciences and director of the European Center for Research in Social Sciences of UNESCO in Vienna. In the 90s he published a trilogy, the last book being Water Manifesto, that defends the universal rights to access water sources. Professor Riccardo Petrella is the director of the “Institut Européen de Recherche sur la Politique de l’Eau-IERPE”. Professor Riccardo Petrella is the director of the “Institut Européen de Recherche sur la Politique de l’Eau-IERPE“.

Professor Riccardo Petrella was nominated doctor honoris causa at the University of Umeå, University of Roskilde, Catholic University Brussels, the University of Mons, the Polytechnical Institute of Grenoble and the University of Québec in Montréal. He worked as a scientific secretary during the years 1967 to 1975, then he became Director of the European Centre for research coordination in Social Sciences in Vienna (Austria). From 1976 to 1978, he was a senior researcher in the International Council of Social Sciences in Paris (France) and also a fellow of the Ford Foundation He led the FAST programme (Forecasting and Assessment in Science and Technology) in the European Commission in the time frame December 1978–1994. From 1982 onwards he has been working as a visiting professor and afterwards as a full professor in economics at the University of Louvain, where he taught particularly global economics. Since 2006 he attained the status of professor emeritus. He was also visiting professor at the VUB (Free University of Brussels) from 1999 till 2005, and lectured on human ecology at the Accademia di Architettura de Mendrisio (Switzerland). In 1991, he established the Lisbon Group. He established the International Committee for a global water contract in 1997 (of which he is the general secretary). Starting 2003, he took the initiative to set up the University of the Public Good, of which the experimental works took off in Italy (water Faculty) and in Belgium (Faculty of the conversion)


  • La renaissance des cultures régionales en Europe, 1978
  • The Limits to Competition, , MIT Press, Boston, 1993
  • Limites à la compétitivité, La Découverte(Paris), Boréal (Montreéal) et Labor (Bruxelles)
  • Le bien commun : éloge de la solidarité, édition Labor, coll. « Quartier libre », 1996
  • L’eau : res publica ou marchandise ? (2003)
  • Le manifeste de l’eau, Labor, Bruxelles et Page, Lausanne
  • The Water Manifesto, ZED Books, UK, 1998
  • Il diritto di sognare, Sperling & Kupfer, Milano
  • Désir d’humanité : le droit de rêver, Labor, Bruxelles, 2004
  • Pour une nouvelle narration du monde, Ecosociété, Montréal, 2007
  • Au nom de l’humanité, Couleur Livres, Mons
  • In the name of Humanity, 2015