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The decision-making process

The need for developing a more comprehensive European water legislation was already identified by the Council in 1988. It took nearly 10 years and several interim steps until the Commission finally published its first proposal in February 1997. The co-decision process was intensive and complicated. It included the following key political steps: 

  • European Commission Proposals in 1997/98.
  • European Parliament First Reading in February 1999 (on the basis of the Amsterdam Treaty)
  • Council Common Position in October 1999. 
  • European Parliament Second Reading in February 2000.
  • Final adoption of the Water Framework Directive, under joint decision by the European Parliament and the Council ("co-decision procedure") and following a conciliation procedure, in October 2000.
  • Publication and entry into force on 22 December 2000.