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Actions towards the 'good status' of EU water and to reduce flood risks

Wednesday, 08 April 2015 Posted in News, BeWater News


The Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive: Actions towards the 'good status' of EU water and to reduce flood risks

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The implementation of the 2000 Water Framework Directive (WFD) relies on Member States taking a range of cost-effective measures in a transparent and participatory way. Member States must summarise these measures (included in their ‘programmes of measures’ or PoMs) in their river basin management plans (RBMPs), which are updated every six years. In 2012, the Commission published its assessment of the RBMPs available at that time.

Effective water management, as required by the WFD, helps Member States prepare for extreme weather events which, due to climate change, are becoming more frequent and cause tremendous damages. To complement the WFD, the Floods Directive (FD) was adopted in 2007 and requires Member States to assess and map flood risks and hazards and to manage them by putting in place flood risk management plans (FRMPs).

Both directives have reached a crucial point in their implementation. This Communication presents an evaluation of progress made so far, keeping in mind that that the two directives are linked and that their implementation should be coordinated. The evaluation is based on the first reports on specific actions taken by Member States to implement the measures summarised in their RBMPs. It builds on the Commission’s assessment of the RBMPs available in 2012 and meets the requirements under Article 18.4 of the WFD, which requires the Commission to publish in 2015 an interim report on the Member States’ implementation of their PoMs.

The Commission’s assessment of Member States’ PoMs and its evaluation of their preliminary flood risk assessments is the basis for the recommendations laid out at the end of this document. They are presented here in view of the second RBMPs and first FRMPs to be adopted by Member States by the end of 2015 and currently subject to public consultations.

Seven Commission Staff Working Documents accompany this Communication. Two include a more detailed assessment of progress made in implementing the WFD and the FD to date. The other five include assessments of the RBMPs of Belgium, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Croatia, which had not been adopted yet in 2012.

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