The European Commission has opened infringement proceedings against 16 EU countries over their failure to present water management plans required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Floods Directive. This puts them out of step with the sustainable water management commitments laid out in the European Green Deal.
The directives require EU countries to update and report every six years their management plans on river basins and flood risk. This round of River Basin Management Plans, their third generation, was supposed to lead to achieving good ecological status of Europe’s rivers by 2027.
The failure to present their River Basin and Flood Risk Management Plans puts them out of step with the sustainable water management objectives of the EU Green Deal.
The countries that failed to meet the submission deadline for submitting their plans under either both or one of the two EU directives are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
River Basin Management Plans include measures which are key to ensuring the good status of water bodies. Flood risk management plans are formed based on maps showing the potential adverse consequences associated with flood scenarios.
The countries will receive a formal notice of the proceedings and have two months to respond.
We welcome that the European Commission is taking action to ensure member states comply with their commitments under the WFD and Floods Directive. EU countries should heed the Commission’s warning and submit their plans as soon as possible while also seeking to integrate them with the EU’s nature conservation objectives and 2030 Biodiversity Strategy.
Learn more about interlinkages between the EU’s nature and water management laws in our report, Is the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy running out of water?