Triumph for European rivers

The European Water Framework Directive is to be kept in its current form. This has been confirmed by Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, who has also shown that he has listened to the wishes of more than 375,000 EU citizens.

Lonjsko Polje, Croatia

Wetlands, such as the Sava floodplains in the Croatian nature park Lonjsko Polje, benefit from a strict WFD.

© Martin Schneider-Jacoby

Together with many other organisations, EuroNatur has been campaigning over the past few years to ensure that the EU Water Framework Directive is not tampered with. If the law for the protection of rivers, lakes and other wetlands had been revised, it would, in all probability, have been watered down as a result of lobbying by industry. Now the directive will remain in its current rather strict form. All EU member states are obliged to get the water quality of water courses, lakes and wetlands to a good standard by 2027.

This victory was also due to one of the most successful petitions in the history of the EU. Over 375,000 Europeans spoke out to preserve the current directive and its stringent protection of our waterways.  However, this is just the first step. Now governments must finally implement concrete measures to achieve the goals set out in the directive. This includes high statutory limits for substances such as nitrates, the renaturing of water courses and riparian forests and putting a stop to the construction of any more hydro-electric plans along ecologically valuable rivers.

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