The European Anglers Alliance EAA, together with its partners of the Living Rivers Europe NGO coalition, calls for action and invites citizens who care for Europe’s rivers, lakes, fish and ecosystems to ask the European Commission to finally give the Water Framework Directive the final sign-off that is needed.
The Water Framework Directive is fit for purpose
21 July 2020 will mark 1,000 days since the launch of the independent evaluation
of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The WFD is a pillar of the EU’s environmental legislation. Adopted in 2000, it aims to protect EU rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwaters. In 2019, the European Commission’s final evaluation of the WFD concluded that the text was ‘fit for purpose’ and has led to ‘higher level of protection for water bodies and flood risk management’ but that implementation was insufficient.
Moreover, the fitness-check highlights that the various delays are largely due to a lack of funding, slow implementation by Member States and an insufficient integration of environmental objectives in sectoral policies. By doing so, the evaluation recognized that these delays are not due to deficiencies in the legislation itself.
These conclusions echoed the EAA and Living Rivers Europe alliance’s fight in favour of full implementation and enforcement of the current WFD. Between 2018 and 2019, the #ProtectWater campaign mobilised 375,386 citizens who called on the European Commission to defend the WFD as part of the public consultation of the text’s fitness check.
Keep the directive unchanged!
Such an outcome which makes this consultation one of the largest ever in the EU history was followed by new actions to defend the WFD. In December 2019, more than 5,500 scientists sent a letter to the Commission, asking to maintain the WFD in its current form. Last April, more than 20 European companies signed a joint statement
in support of the 350,386 citizens who stood up to protect EU waters, including EFTTA.
However, and despite the support of some Member States to the evaluation’s conclusions, the EU 27 have not committed to keeping the legislation untouched and the European Commission has not given a final sign-off to the law. Precious time is being lost to protect water.
As the 1,000 days milestone approaches, EAA and the Living River Europe ask all water lovers to take actions. It is high time for the European Commission to commit to preserve the WFD and take the necessary measures for better implementation and enforcement.
Take action, write to the European Commission!
Anglers are often the first ones to notice and be impacted by the deterioration of the aquatic environment in their activities. Proper implementation the Water Framework Directive is key to restoring fish stocks, to ensure angling opportunities increase and improve for the millions of European anglers who take part in recreational fishing.
As anglers and river lovers, you can do something. A dedicated form is now available, enabling citizens to send a personal message to the European Commission. You can express how much you personally care about freshwater and the text that protect it. The possibility to halt and reverse the decline of freshwater biodiversity is at stake!