“Living Rivers Europe” platform launched for the upcoming review of the Water Framework Directive 


A coalition of five NGOs including the European Anglers Alliance has launched a platform called “Living Rivers Europe” to closely monitor the upcoming review process of the EU Water Framework Directive (1) . 

The speakers of the event with three of the Chairs. 
From left to right: Roberto Epple – ERN, Cy Griffin - Wetlands International, Valentin Opfermann- Copa Cogeca, Mark Owen – EAA, 
MEP Linnea Engström, MEP Ulrike Rodust, Pieter de Pous – EEB, François Wakenhut – European Commission,
Geneviève Pons – WWF EPO, Peter Matt - Vorarlberger Illwerke AG, MEP Franc Bogovic.

On the 22nd March 2017 - the day celebrated at the global level as “World Water Day” - an event took place at the European Parliament entitled “The Water Framework Directive – Lifeline for European Waters” organised by the Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment. 

The event was chaired by four Members of the European Parliament, from four different political groups, with a strong interest in this topic: MEP Ulrike Rodust (S&D), MEP Franc Bogovic (EPP), MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE) and MEP Linnea Engström (Greens). 

The European Commission, represented by François Wakenhut, Director of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment, and stakeholders from both NGOs and the industries concerned (Copa Cogeca, Vorarlberger Illwerke AG – an Austrian Hydropower Company) were invited as speakers. 

The NGO alliance “Living Rivers Europe” was then officially launched to achieve and secure healthy freshwater ecosystems, with a strong emphasis on the Water Framework Directive review process. “Living Rivers Europe” will campaign for a better implementation, a stricter enforcement and the upkeep of today’s Water Framework Directive’s standards. You can read more about its objectives here.

Living Rivers Europe” is made up of five international environmental NGOs: the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), the European Environment Bureau (EEB), the European Rivers Network (ERN), the Wetlands International European Association (WI-EA) and the WWF, European Policy Office (WWF EPO). 

For the new platform “Living Rivers Europe” this day marked the beginning of a working process that will stretch into the year 2019. 


(1) The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is an EU legislation adopted in 2000 recognising the poor condition of our inland waterways with a legally binding target to achieve good ecological status by 2015. This legislation has contributed to the improvement of water protection in the EU. However, in 2012 the European Commission realised that many Member States would miss the 2015 target as 47% of the EU waters at the time had not reached the good status objectives that were set. A review of this crucial piece of environmental legislation shall take place in 2019 and stakeholders are already getting engaged.

The agenda is available here.

The "Living Rivers Europe" statement is available here.

Download this press release here.

Pictures:


The panel included on the picture above, from right to left: Valentin 
Opfermann- Copa Cogeca, 
Peter Matt - Vorarlberger Illwerke AG, 
Mark Owen – EAA, 
Pieter de Pous – EEB and 
Roberto Epple – ERN.


A lively debate followed the statements. On the above picture, from right to left: MEP Ulrike Rodust, MEP Franc Bogovic, MEP Linnea Engtröm and François Wakenhut, European Commission.

The meeting room inside the European Parliament.




Conference 
The Water Framework Directive – Lifeline for European Waters 


22 March 2017 


13:30-15:00 


European Parliament, Brussels 




MEP Ulrike Rodust, MEP Frank Bogovic, MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy and MEP Linnéa Engström, will be chairing a conference on “The Water Framework Directive – Lifeline for European Waters" organised by the European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment, with the support of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) and the WWF.

The event will take place on the 22nd of March in the European Parliament (room ASP3H1) from 13:30 to 15:00.
German interpretation will be provided.

The agenda of the event can be downloaded here.



The European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) are joining forces with several NGOs to raise awareness about the importance of the Water Framework Directive in view of its upcoming review. An event that will take place on the 22nd of March in Brussels will be the occasion to discuss the current state of the implementation of the Directive and the importance to preserve its ambitious objectives and deadlines.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) was adopted 17 years ago with the aim of protecting European waters and ensuring that they achieve “good status” by a set deadline. However, in 2012 the European Commission acknowledged that Member States were far from reaching these objectives as 47% of EU waters did not achieve good ecological status . Nevertheless, the WFD represents a crucial piece of EU environmental legislation and it has greatly contributed to the improvement of water protection in the EU . The review process will start in 2019.

In view of this process, the European Anglers Alliance and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association have decided to enhance cooperation with several NGOs such as the WWF, to raise awareness about how the Directive works and its correct implementation.