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4th European Water Conference

The 4th European Water Conference, organised by the European Commission's Environment Directorate-General, was held in Brussels on 23-24 March 2015, the day after World Water Day. The Conference provided the opportunity for representatives from Member States, stakeholders and the European Commission working directly or indirectly on the implementation of the Water Framework and Floods Directives to debate the following key topics:

  • Experiences from the first cycle of implementation of the WFD, achievements and lessons learned
  • The European Commission's assessment of the implementation of the WFD programmes of measures
  • Preparations and expectations for the second River Basin Management Plans
  • Experiences so far in the implementation of the Floods Directive, including the preparation of the Flood Hazard and Risk Maps and the Flood Risk Management Plans
  • Integration issues: links between water policy and agriculture, energy, and navigation policies
  • Opportunities to support water policy under the new financing period 2014-2020 (Rural Development Programmes, Operational Programmes, etc.)
  • The role of water policy in the context of Green and Blue Growth

The Conference was attended by 458 participants representing 320 different organisations, with 19 presentations and 5 panel discussions taking place over the course of the two days. 

The Conference report is now available!

More information

Background documents

  • 4th implementation report on the Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive. Read more...

  • Consultant reports on screening of the draft second River Basin Management Plans. Read more...

  • Consultant reports on screening of the draft Flood Risk Management Plans. Read more

Documents and Presentations

  • Documents and presentations related to the conference are available in CIRCABC




The Water Framework Directive (WFD) adopted in 2000 put forward an integrated approach for EU water policy, centred on the concept of river basin management with the objective of achieving good status of all EU waters by 2015. The main tools to implement the Directive are the River Basin Management Plans and the Programmes of Measures. The first River Basin Management Plans and Programmes of Measures, adopted in 2009, are being updated and will be subject to public consultation during the first half of 2015 before their final adoption by the end of 2015.

The Floods Directive (FD) of 2007 aims to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. By 2015 flood risk management plans must be drawn up for areas identified to be at risk. Unlike the WFD, the Floods Directive does not have a precise calendar of public consultation, but many Member States will consult on the WFD and Flood Plans at the same time, during the first semester of 2015.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the Conference, please contact: