Water, marine and coast

Water, marine and coast

Access to good quality water is essential for people, nature and economic activities. The Water Framework Directive aims to ensure good quality water for the EU by 2015. Other legislation safeguards Europe's seas, drinking and bathing water.


Latest articles

Environment for Europeans asked Matjaž Malgaj about the latest steps to improve Europe’s drinking water supply. He heads the DG Environment Unit that is responsible for the marine environment and water industry.



The 2017 edition of Our Ocean, hosted by the EU in Malta, generated an unprecedented level of ambition. As the waves die down, what, precisely, was achieved?


Our Ocean is a world-leading conference, an annual event that moves to Europe for the first time this year. It's an opportunity for public and private leaders to announce actions that keep the world's oceans safe, sustainable and healthy. Leaders from governments, companies, foundations and civil...



The growing recognition that water is a finite resource has prompted a flood of new ideas and innovations to tackle water management challenges, many of them fostered by the European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water).


Oceans, which make up 70 % of our planet, are threatened by pollution, illegal fishing, piracy and human trafficking. Ten million tonnes of litter end up in the oceans every year – that is a truckload a minute. Every single piece of plastic takes centuries to decompose. With a new agenda...


For four decades, the European Union has been helping to ensure that people everywhere in Europe can be confident of swimming in clean, safe waters. This year's bathing water report shows that...


Significant progress has been made in establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in Europe’s seas, bringing benefits for both the environment and the economy.


Water is essential for life, and good management of water resources can be a source of ‘blue’ economic growth. A recent Commission Communication assesses how Member States are implementing legislation designed to ensure enough clean water for people, nature and the economy.


The first comprehensive study into the condition of Europe’s seas, six years after the EU’s pioneering Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) came into force, shows there is still ample cause for concern.


Water is a vital resource for life and our economy. But it faces many serious challenges ranging from scarcity and pollution to ecosystem degradation. To tackle these, the Commission is encouraging innovative solutions that will also create commercial opportunities for those developing them.


Our seas and oceans are increasingly becoming the waste dump of the planet. Man-made litter is contaminating marine habitats and posing serious environmental, economic and health problems. A new Commission policy paper aims to raise awareness of the problem and to stimulate debate on ways to tackle...


Water policy is the main environmental issue on the European Commission's 2012 work programme. It is also the theme running through this year's Green Week. To improve the quality and better manage the quantity of water in the Union, the Commission is preparing a Blueprint setting out a water policy...