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Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

15-04-2019

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring ...

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving and streamlining the information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and imposing obligations to improve access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 10 September 2018. A plenary vote on the amendments, and on opening interinstitutional negotiations, took place on 23 October 2018. Although the Council reached a general approach on 5 March 2019, the Parliament concluded its first reading in plenary on 28 March 2019. Trilogue negotiations in view of reaching an early-second reading agreement could thus begin in the new parliamentary term.

EYE event - Ocean protection: Hooked on heavenly habitat

16-05-2018

Although oceans are essential to us in many ways, the state of marine biodiversity remains little known. What we do know, however, is that human activities create a number of pressures such as (over-)exploitation, carbon emissions, and pollution, including marine litter. The European Union (EU) has been active in promoting the sustainable use of the seas. In early 2018, the European Commission presented a strategy to address the issue of plastics pollution, including microplastics in our seas.

Although oceans are essential to us in many ways, the state of marine biodiversity remains little known. What we do know, however, is that human activities create a number of pressures such as (over-)exploitation, carbon emissions, and pollution, including marine litter. The European Union (EU) has been active in promoting the sustainable use of the seas. In early 2018, the European Commission presented a strategy to address the issue of plastics pollution, including microplastics in our seas.

EYE event - Water for all: Born to run…

16-05-2018

As a result of growing demand and climate change, freshwater is getting scarce. In Europe, although the situation is improving, the quality of many freshwater bodies and ecosystems is poor. The European Union has comprehensive rules protecting water and an update to legislation on drinking water is now under discussion.

As a result of growing demand and climate change, freshwater is getting scarce. In Europe, although the situation is improving, the quality of many freshwater bodies and ecosystems is poor. The European Union has comprehensive rules protecting water and an update to legislation on drinking water is now under discussion.

Revision of the drinking water directive

27-03-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 1 February 2018 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 1 February 2018 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Aquaculture in the EU

03-10-2017

Aquaculture means the rearing of aquatic animals and the cultivation of aquatic plants and algae. While, at global level, this industry has undergone significant growth for several decades, in the EU, aquaculture production, focused on the farming of fish and shellfish for human consumption, is rather stagnating. Subject to diverse EU policies, such as environmental protection or animal and consumer health, the development of aquaculture largely depends on measures taken by national authorities. ...

Aquaculture means the rearing of aquatic animals and the cultivation of aquatic plants and algae. While, at global level, this industry has undergone significant growth for several decades, in the EU, aquaculture production, focused on the farming of fish and shellfish for human consumption, is rather stagnating. Subject to diverse EU policies, such as environmental protection or animal and consumer health, the development of aquaculture largely depends on measures taken by national authorities. The EU common fisheries policy requests Member States to put in place a strategic plan for sustainable aquaculture, which can be fostered with the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Aquaculture: Overview for the EU

28-08-2017

EU aquaculture essentially consists of the farming of shellfish and fish, in salt and fresh water. Having to meet requirements on environmental protection, animal health and the quality of products for consumers, this sector struggles to hold its own in EU territories. The EU promotes the sustainable development of aquaculture activities, in particular through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the financial instrument dedicated to supporting the Common Fisheries Policy guidelines. This financial ...

EU aquaculture essentially consists of the farming of shellfish and fish, in salt and fresh water. Having to meet requirements on environmental protection, animal health and the quality of products for consumers, this sector struggles to hold its own in EU territories. The EU promotes the sustainable development of aquaculture activities, in particular through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the financial instrument dedicated to supporting the Common Fisheries Policy guidelines. This financial support must form part of the implementation of the multi-annual national strategic plans for aquaculture, which the Member States had to put in place and, for which the optimal outlook will result in 25% growth in total aquaculture production levels by 2020. The European Commission is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the open method of coordination between Member States, a voluntary process between governments to exchange information and best practice with respect to certain challenges facing the aquaculture sector, in particular in terms of administrative burdens and installation authorisations for companies.

EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region (EUSAIR)

23-10-2015

The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) is the third EU macro-regional strategy, following the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009) and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (2011). On a mandate from the European Council, the EUSAIR was developed jointly by the Commission with the Adriatic-Ionian region countries and stakeholders. The EUSAIR launch conference took place in Brussels on 18 November 2014. The Adriatic and Ionian region faces a number of challenges, such as ...

The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) is the third EU macro-regional strategy, following the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009) and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (2011). On a mandate from the European Council, the EUSAIR was developed jointly by the Commission with the Adriatic-Ionian region countries and stakeholders. The EUSAIR launch conference took place in Brussels on 18 November 2014. The Adriatic and Ionian region faces a number of challenges, such as environmental degradation, inefficient transport connections and a lack of strong trans-border cooperation. The EUSAIR aims to tackle these challenges by promoting economic growth and prosperity in the Adriatic-Ionian region through improving its attractiveness, competitiveness and connectivity. It also aims to protect sea, coastal and inland environments and ecosystems. In addition, as the EUSAIR also includes non-EU countries, it should play an important role in promoting the Western Balkans' EU integration. The aims of the strategy will be pursued through four main pillars: 'blue growth', connecting the region, environmental quality and sustainable tourism. Each participating country will be in charge of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the strategy. As with all EU macro-regional strategies, the EUSAIR does not rely on new funds but rather exploits existing financial instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), as well as the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) for non-EU countries. Participating countries are also encouraged to seek alternative sources of finance, including private funds.

Water use in the EU

29-05-2015

Water stress is steadily increasing, as a result either of droughts – a temporary decline in water resources due to low rainfall – or situations of water scarcity, where demand exceeds the level of sustainable use. Assessment of the global use of water resources is hampered by the lack of established standards, and conventional measurements may yield diverging results.

Water stress is steadily increasing, as a result either of droughts – a temporary decline in water resources due to low rainfall – or situations of water scarcity, where demand exceeds the level of sustainable use. Assessment of the global use of water resources is hampered by the lack of established standards, and conventional measurements may yield diverging results.

Water legislation: Cost of Non-Europe Report

20-05-2015

This ‘Cost of Non-Europe’ report examines the state of implementation of current EU Water Legislation and identifies the cost of the lack of further European action in this field. The assessment made of existing water legislation confirms that there are still implementation gaps and areas of poor performance. The examination of five case studies, where it was believed that a significant potential exists for further EU action, served to demonstrate that there are several barriers which hinder the ...

This ‘Cost of Non-Europe’ report examines the state of implementation of current EU Water Legislation and identifies the cost of the lack of further European action in this field. The assessment made of existing water legislation confirms that there are still implementation gaps and areas of poor performance. The examination of five case studies, where it was believed that a significant potential exists for further EU action, served to demonstrate that there are several barriers which hinder the achievement of the goals set in the legislation. More European action would accordingly be necessary to limit the impact on Europe's water quality of flooding or of pharmaceutical residues. To limit the use of fresh water more generally, there is a need for European coordination to increase the use of water-efficient equipment and water-metering.  This research makes a cautious estimate that the benefits of full implementation of existing legislation could reach 2.8 billion euro per year. The study also demonstrates that further European action in this field could provide further added value, representing a ‘cost of non-Europe’ of some 25 billion euro per year.

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources with a Focus on Water and Agriculture (Study, Annex, Summary and Options Brief)

15-05-2013

Water is a key natural resource targeted within resource efficiency policy of the European Union, as well as globally. This study has focussed on research, technologies and options for sustainable water use and water efficiency; agricultural land management with soil and water benefits; and measures within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to address sustainable management of water and soil resources. Six key areas for improvement have been identified: (1) The legislative framework currently ...

Water is a key natural resource targeted within resource efficiency policy of the European Union, as well as globally. This study has focussed on research, technologies and options for sustainable water use and water efficiency; agricultural land management with soil and water benefits; and measures within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to address sustainable management of water and soil resources. Six key areas for improvement have been identified: (1) The legislative framework currently in place to protect Europe’s waters needs to be implemented fully and effectively as well as adequately enforced; (2) Water priorities that have been articulated at the EU level need to be more fully integrated and well implemented within the sectoral policies at EU, national and regional levels; (3) Water losses should be reduced and water savings and efficiency should be increased, in particular in agriculture and water scarce areas; (4) Land and soil management approaches aimed at combating soil erosion, preventing loss of soil organic matter, sequestering soil carbon and improving water retention are critical for long-term sustainability of farming and healthy ecosystems and should be promoted at all levels; (5) EU funds, including CAP, allocated to water priorities should be used in an efficient and effective way; and (6) improved data and decision support tools relating to water and soils are essential for making informed decisions that support sustainable management of water and soil.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Jana Poláková (Project Leader, IEEP), Andrew Farmer (IEEP), Sandra Berman (BIO Intelligence Service), Sandra Naumann (Ecologic Institute), Ana Frelih-Larsen (Ecologic Institute) and Johanna von Toggenburg (Ecologic Institut)

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