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EU water law will NOT be changed

River Germany

One of the EU’s most comprehensive and ambitious pieces of environmental legislation, the Water Framework Directive (WFD), will not be changed as was stated by Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Fisheries. This landmark decision comes six months after the law was concluded to be “fit-for-purpose”, and ensures the further protection of Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands.

Water is one of our most important resources. It sustains us, our environment and is a source of life. Europe is filled with beautiful rivers, lakes and wetlands that need protection. The WFD ensures this protection in a holistic and ambitious way. Keeping this Directive in its current form will ensure that all European member states will step up efforts to improve water quality and reach the target of 100% of fresh water in good health by 2027. By reaching this target, the EU can preserve its water resources and ensure better adaptation to climate change.

Unfortunately, implementation of the WFD has been weak and some member states, as well as industry lobby groups have tried to attenuate the law. In the two-year process of evaluating the WFD, however, over 375.000 citizens demanded that the law would keep it’s current form and in a letter from nearly 6000 scientists, the critical role of the WFD in halting the decline in freshwater biodiversity was highlighted, which was sent to the Commission at the end of last year. Additionally, a group of businesses has also urged the Commission and EU Member States to keep the WFD in its current form.

The hopeful announcement means that there is still a strong law in place for protecting Europe’s fresh water sources. The Commission and EU Member States must now work together with all stakeholders to ensure a fast track towards the WFD 2027 objectives.