The fifth Water Framework Directive Implementation Report – assessment of the second River Basin Management Plans and the first Floods Directive Implementation Report – assessment of the first Flood Risk Management Plans (2019)
In accordance with Article 18 of the Water Framework Directive and Article 16 of the Floods Directive, the Commission must publish a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of these Directives after each update of the River Basin Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans respectively.
The Commission Report must include among other things a review of progress in the implementation of the Directives and an assessment of the Plans, including suggestions for the improvement of future Plans. The report also includes an assessment of the international cooperation under the implementation of the Directives.
This 5th Implementation Report was adopted on 26/02/2019 and consists of the following documents:
Informal translations of the Country-specific assessments may be found hereunder:
The Commission report reveals significant improvements in knowledge and reporting on the Water Framework Directive compared to the previous cycle. More Member States reported in a timely manner, with more comprehensive, relevant and reliable information.
Two decades of EU water policy and law have made a change. The trend of continuous decline of water quality has been reversed. Water quality throughout Europe has improved. Compliance with the Water Framework Directive objectives is increasing gradually. Although in a number of Member States the right policy measures were taken and a number of financial investments made, in many river basins improvements in water quality will still take some time. While a large majority of groundwater bodies have achieved good status, less than half of surface water bodies are in good status, although some individual underlying trends are more positive. Various EU funds will continue to support these implementation efforts.
The path towards full compliance with the objectives of EU water legislation before the end of the third cycle (in 2027) is now very challenging. Reporting shows that, although further measures will be taken until 2021, many others will be needed beyond 2021.
Previous implementation reports can be found below:
In accordance with Article 18.4 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) the Commission must publish in 2015 an interim report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of this Directive. It has to include a review of progress in the implementation of the Programmes of Measures planned by Member States in their River Basin Management Plans. The interim report is based on the analysis of the reports submitted by Member States in accordance with Article 15.3 and it also provides suggestions for the improvement of future Programmes of Measures to be inserted in the update of the River Basin Management Plans, due at the latest by 22/12/2015. In order to identify and build on existing synergies with the Floods Directive (FD) it also includes a section on the assessment of that Directive's implementation.
This 4th WFD implementation report was adopted on 9 March 2015 and consists of the following documents:
In accordance with Article 18 (Water Framework Directive) the Commission must publish a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of this Directive at the latest by 22/12/2012. It has to include among other things a review of progress in the implementation of the Directive and a survey of the River Basin Management Plans submitted in accordance with Article 15, including suggestions for the improvement of future plans.
This 3rd WFD implementation report was adopted on 14/11/2012 and consists of the following documents:
A lot of effort has been put into the preparation and drafting of the first RBMPs, and knowledge of the status of water has considerably improved. However, the Commission's assessment shows that more efforts are needed to ensure the achievement of the WFD objectives in the 2015, 2021 and 2027 planning cycles.
The assessment of the RBMPs indicates that progress towards the objective of good status by 2015 is expected, but it will not be achieved for a significant proportion of water bodies. The main pressures on the water environment are hydromorphological pressures, pollution and over-abstraction. The chemical quality of water bodies has significantly improved in the last 30 years, but the situation as regards the priority substances listed in the WFD falls short of the objective.
A significant number of exemptions have been applied in the 1st RBMPs. The WFD requires Member States to justify and explain the reasons in the RBMPs, which is key for transparency and accountability of decision making.
Implementation should ensure that water management is based on a better understanding of the main risks and pressures in a river basin, founded on proper monitoring. This will result in cost-effective interventions to ensure the long-term sustainable supply of clean water for people, business and nature.