In the year 2000, Member States agreed to bring Europe’s waters back to good status by 2015. More than 20 years after the adoption of the main EU water law, the Water Framework Directive (WFD), EU Member States are still far from delivering on their obligations: less than half of Europe’s waters are in a good status.
The European Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties, has an obligation to ensure that EU laws are enforced. Ursula von der Leyen also vowed to make enforcement a priority during her term. Yet, we are not seeing these promises translated into action. Especially as to the WFD, infringement procedures are rare, and EU Member States are openly breaching the law without being held accountable with devastating ecological consequences as result.
As the time to act to achieve a good water status by 2027 is shrinking fast, and as the mandate of the current Commission is drawing to a close, this event gathers actors to discuss how the ambition and enforcement action can be stepped up.
16.00-16.10 Opening and welcome, Patrick ten Brink Secretary General at the EEB