EEB new report assesses the EU Member States progresses on achieving a good ecological water-status


The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has released the final sprint for Europe’s rivers report to put forward the results of an assessment carried out by the EEB and partner NGOs on the quality and level of commitment of 13 draft River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) in 8 EU Member States and one international River Basin District published before May 2021, drawing up conclusions and recommendations.

90% of river basins studied in various EU countries will still be unhealthy by 2027, new research reveals. This means those countries will miss the legally binding EU target to return Europe’s dirty freshwaters to health by then.

“The plans reveal a general failure of Member States to integrate water protection and the WFD’s environmental objectives for Europe’s waters with other policies, in particular energy, agriculture, and infrastructure policies. Twenty years after the adoption of the WFD, EU Member States continue to channel enormous amounts of public funds into environmentally harmful activities, which counteract and hinder the achievement of a good ecological, chemical and quantitative status for our waters. Mainstreaming sustainable water management in all EU and national policies must remain a key priority.” However:

Some improvements were made in the removal and adaptation on barriers, freshwater ecosystem protection and restauration, drought and flood management, addressing pollution from agriculture.

Large shortcomings in failure to apply cost recovery and the provision of an adequate budget, heavy reliance on exemptions, water allocation and abstraction control is not properly addressed.

Water legislations should be better aligned with sectorial legislation.


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