Latest #ProtectWater news
22 June 2020: VICTORY FOR #PROTECTWATER! After more than two years of campaigning by 130 organisations, the EU’s Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, finally declared that the Water Framework Directive would not be opened up for revision, confirming the need to focus on supporting implementation and enforcement "without changing the directive". Looking ahead, it is now important for the Commission and Member States to pull out all the stops to reach the objectives of the WFD by 2027 (at the very latest!)
5 March 2020: Meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels. During an exchange of views on the fitness check of EU water legislation (a public session which was live streamed), a majority of Member States expressed their support for the fitness check conclusions on the Water Framework Directive, which stated that the directive was fit for purpose. Several of these Member States - including France, Austria, Denmark and Greece - stated that the WFD needs to be maintained in its current form. In doing so, Member States acknowledged the urgency needed to protect and restore EU rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwaters, and distanced themselves from fierce lobbying from industry to weaken the law.
3 March 2020: Despite the clear conclusions published on 11 December, the European Commission has still not fully committed to preserving the Water Framework Directive in its current form. Living Rivers Europe, together with the 130+ civil society groups that supported the #ProtectWater campaign, sent a letter to the EU. It calls for the European Commission to firmly announce that the Water Framework Directive will not be amended, in accordance with the fitness check conclusions, and to focus on addressing the implementation gaps identified in the evaluation, including through the European Green Deal initiatives. Download the letter here.
11 December 2019: The European Commission publishes the conclusions of its two-year independent review, which state that the Water Framework Directive is fit for purpose. Delays in reaching the law’s objectives are “not due to a deficiency in the legislation”, but rather funding gaps and slow implementation.
6 December 2019: 5,500+ scientists from across the EU to send a letter to the European Commission, calling for the Water Framework Directive to be maintained in its current form and better enforced in order to halt and reverse the decline in freshwater biodiversity. Click here to view the statement, download the full list of signatories or to add your name to the statement.
20 May 2019: Informal meeting of the Environment Council, Bucharest. Handover of signatures of 375,000+ citizens who took a stand for the Water Framework Directive through #ProtectWater. During this meeting, Germany expresses its support for the maintenance of the WFD in its current form, and better implementation.
15 May 2019: Living Rivers Europe publishes new analysis outlining the positions of various industry groups on the Water Framework Directive. The paper shows that, if ever put into effect, such changes would give these sectors the green light to undertake even more destructive activities, potentially causing havoc on our rivers and lakes.
October 2018 - March 2019: 375,386 citizens call on the European Commission to defend the Water Framework Directive through the #ProtectWater campaign, making the EU’s public consultation on the legislation one of the largest ever in the history of the European Union. The campaign facilitated citizens’ participation in the European Commission’s public consultation on the WFD (the only opportunity for the general public to have its say during the EU fitness check) to express their clear opposition to changing the legislation.
20-21 September 2018: #ProtectWater takeover of the EU Water Conference in Vienna, including a body-painting stunt outside of the conference. Publication of new Living Rivers Europe report, Bringing Life back to Europe’s Rivers: The EU Water Law in Action.
8 July 2018: The European Rivers Network and WWF organise the biggest Big Jump ever, with 160 events taking place across 18 European countries.