The European Commission has sent a first warning to twelve Member States for failing to submit their plans for managing Europe’s river basins, as required by EU water legislation. The Member States involved are: Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. The river basin plans are the cornerstone of the Water Framework Directive and essential for achieving the EU’s objective of ‘good status’ for European waters by 2015. They should have been adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik says: “I am pleased that the majority of Member States have successfully delivered their river basin management plans on time. However, we still do not have plans for a quarter of the EU’s territory. I urge those Member States to take action quickly, complete the public consultation and submit their plans.”
The Commission has sent a first warning letter to twelve Member States concerning the absence of river basin management plans required by the Water Framework Directive. Under the legislation, Member States had to publish a management plan for each river basin district at the latest nine years after the legislation entered into force. Member States sharing international rivers must work together to produce a single international river basin management plan.
The groundbreaking Water Framework Directive, which came into force in 2000, provides a framework for integrated water management in river basin districts across the European Union. It obliges Member States to protect and restore all bodies of ground water and surface water (rivers, lakes, canals and coastal water) to achieve good status by 2015 at the latest.