375,386 citizens call for strong EU legislation to protect water

Over the past months, an alliance of numerous European environmental and nature conservation associations have promoted broad participation in a public EU consultation to evaluate existing EU water legislation.

Livanjsko Polje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, wetland, floodplain
Livanjsko Polje is not only the largest wetland in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also the largest regularly flooded karst polje in the world. The wide-stretching water areas of this natural reservoir as well as its swamp vegetation and alder marsh forests are the habitat to a wide range of rare plants and animals. © Martin Schneider Jacoby

The environmental and nature conservation organisations Anglerverband Niedersachsen (AVN), Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND), Deutscher Anglerverband, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), EuroNatur, Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung (FUE), Grüne Liga, Landesbund für Vogelschutz (LBV), Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), NaturFreunde Deutschlands, Verband Deutscher Sporttaucher (VDST), WWF, and their umbrella organisation Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR) jointly comment on the completion of the survey:

Protecting our water needs strong EU regulations: That’s the message that 375,386 EU citizens conveyed to the European Commission, calling to keep the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and its objectives in place. This makes the consultation one of the most successful examples of citizen participation in the history of the European Union.

With 167,302 participants, Germany was the top contributor to the EU-wide survey. The environmental and nature conservation groups see this as a clear mandate for the Federal Government to take action at EU level to ensure that current legislation is not watered down and that the protection of our most important resource is not weakened.
The WFD is regarded as the core piece of legislation to protect rivers, lakes and coastal waters, including their animal and plant biodiversity, as well as groundwater throughout Europe. At present, only 8.2 percent of German water bodies are in a good status (compared to 40 percent EU-wide). This means that Germany is a long way from achieving the EU-wide goal set 19 years ago to bring all water bodies to good status by 2027 at the latest.

The NGOs call on the German Federal and State Governments to massively step up their efforts to improve WFD implementation. Policy areas such as agriculture, transport or industries must be obliged to comply with the objectives of the Water Framework Directive in order to protect water bodies (for example from increasing nitrate pollution). The current round of reforms of the Common European Agricultural Policy (CAP) must contribute to this, as must the amendment of the regulations on fertiliser use in Germany.

Background information:
The EU Commission is expected to present an analysis of the consultation in autumn 2019. The decision on the future of the WFD is expected for the first half of 2020. The environmental and nature conservation groups will continue to closely monitor the process to make sure that this visionary piece of legislation is preserved, enforced by the EU Commission and fully implemented by the Member States.

Contact:
Christian Stielow, Tel: 07732-927 215, Mail: christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org 

 

How you can help

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

Newsletter

Twice a month, EuroNatur provides you with the latest campaign and project information about Europe's natural heritage free of charge and at first hand.

News

New loggings and fires threaten the Domogled National Park

Tree felling is intruding further and further into the forest wilderness of the Domogled National Park at Valea Cernei in the southern Carpathian...

The European Green Belt: Nature conservation connects neighbours

++ The fall of the Berlin Wall marks the birth of the European Green Belt ++ Nature conservation along the former Iron Curtain as a Central European...

Murders in Romania's virgin forests shock public opinion

EuroNatur and Agent Green: Romania must intensify fight against mafia and corruption in forestry sector

ECJ Judgement: No Relaxation of Protection for Wolves

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has placed very tight constraints on the granting of permits allowing wolves to be shot. In their ruling on 10...

“Brave women of Kruščica” receive EuroNatur Award 2019

++ EuroNatur Award goes to dedicated river conservationists from Bosnia-Herzegovina ++ Dam boom threatens the last wild rivers of our continent ++

Another victory for free-flowing rivers inside Mavrovo National Park

++ Construction permits for two hydropower plants annulled after supervision by construction inspectorate ++

New figures: More wolf packs in Western Poland

++ Results of wolf monitoring show at least 95 settled packs ++ Sudetes are also wolf territory again ++

Romania: New inventory reveals huge and threatened natural forest treasure

EuroNatur and Agent Green: Europe must halt forest destruction in Romania

New report: hydropower subsidies wreak environmental havoc and line influential pockets in the Western Balkans

Disproportionate public subsidies for small hydropower in the Western Balkans have resulted in widespread environmental damage and have benefited...

Bridge blocked - river saved - honoured with EuroNatur Award

++ EuroNatur Award 2019 goes to the “brave women of Kruščica" ++ Bridge occupied for over 500 days to block construction of hydropower plants ++ Award...

Ulcinj Salina is now a Ramsar site

We were delighted that, after years of delay, Ulcinj Salina in Montenegro was declared a natural park at the end of June. Now the saltpans on the...

EU-Commission urged to protect Europe's last natural forests from illegal logging

Environmental organisations EuroNatur, Agent Green and ClientEarth have advanced their fight against illegal logging of old-growth and primeval...

Remembering, reviewing and looking ahead: 30 years breakdown of the Iron Curtain

Impulse for a big project: European Green Belt should become UNESCO-world heritage

Power lines: Fatal for migratory birds

++ Autumn migration has begun ++ Overhead powerlines cause the death of millions of migratory birds worldwide ++ International campaign to protect...

“Brave Women of Kruščica” honoured for river protection

++ River conservationists from Bosnia-Herzegovina receive EuroNatur Award 2019 ++ Energy companies want to exploit the last wild rivers of Europe, but...

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection