MEP’s: WFD needs better integration industries

ENVI-members of Parliament plea for better integration into sectoral policies, particularly in agriculture, transport and energy. (photo: wikimedia commons).

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The objectives of the Water Framework Directive need better integration into sectoral policies, particularly in agriculture, transport and energy. Members of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament adopted a resolution to achieve this the 1st of December.

The Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) call for better implementation of the Water Framework Directive as 60% of EU’s water bodies are still not in a good state. The resolution underlines the WFD-objectives needs better integration into sectoral policies. The parliamentarians urge member states to reduce the use of fertiliser and pesticides and call for integration and implementation in national Strategic Plans under the EU’s farm policy. According to the committee members additional action regarding chemicals and pollutants, water pricing policies, hydropower and urban wastewater treatment is also needed.

Shortcomings

The MEPs agree with the European Commission’s assessment that the Water Framework Directive is fit for purpose and should not be revised. They strongly regret that the objectives of the WFD have not yet been reached. This is mainly due to inadequate funding, particularly slow implementation, and insufficient enforcement. ‘The precautionary and polluter-pays principles are not being implemented properly, and many member states are using exemptions too broadly’, they stated.

Room for improvement

While the Water Framework Directive established a framework to protect 110.000 bodies of surface water in the EU, the implementation has been lacking. Only 40% of the European water bodies are in good status, even though the deadline for achieving this was 2015. The Fitness Check of EU water legislation in December 2019 concluded that the legislation is adequate but that there is room for improvement related to investments, implementation, integrating water into other policies, chemical pollution, administrative simplification and digitalisation.

Plenary vote

The plenary will vote on the deal on the resolution on the implementation of the EU water legislation during its 14 – 17 December session.

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