The Water Framework Directive, how to fix Europe’s water crisis – 23 October – Brussels & Online

The Water Framework Directive, the forgotten tool to fix Europe’s water crisis

Event on the state of play on implementation and enforcement of the EU water law


Date: 23 October, 16.00-17.30
Location: EEB office, Rue des Deux Églises 14-16, Brussels (room Earth)
Organizing NGOs: EEB, supported by BUND, ClientEarth and NABU

Register here


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.


Tentative agenda


16.00-16.10       Opening and welcome, Patrick ten Brink Secretary General at the EEB

16.10-16.20       Peter Haase and/or Ellen A. R. Welti (tbc), authors of The recovery of European freshwater biodiversity has come to a halt

16.20-16.30       EEB/ClientEarth –Presentation of briefing on (lack of) implementation of the WFD

16.30-16.35       Messages from CSO network across Europe

– Germany (Sascha Maier, BUND)

16.35-16.50       MEP Jutta Paulus (Greens): what needs to be done in the next term after EU elections

16.50-17.05       Commission response: Claudia Olazabal (ENV C.1.) and Paul Speight (ENV ENV.E.3)

17.05-17.25       Q&A and discussion

17.25-17.30       Closing remarks by Patrick ten Brink, Secretary General of the EEB


The event will be followed by a reception




Brussels & Online

For more information, please contact our Senior Events Coordinator.

The Water Framework Directive, how to fix Europe’s water crisis – 23 October – Brussels & Online
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