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Implementing the EU Water Framework Directive & the Floods Directive

The implementation of the Water Framework Directive raises a number of shared technical challenges for the Member States, the Commission, the Candidate and EEA Countries as well as stakeholders and NGOs. In addition, many of the European river basins are international, crossing administrative and territorial borders and therefore a common understanding and approach is crucial to the successful and effective implementation of the Directive.

In order to address the challenges in a co-operative and coordinated way, the Member States, Norway and the Commission agreed on a Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) for the Water Framework Directive only five months after the entry into force of the Directive.

The results of this work, for instance guidance documents on technical aspects elaborated in the context of the CIS, key events and additional resource documents related to different aspects of the implementation are available on CIRCABC.The links at the end of this page provide access to additional key documents on various themes.

More details on the overall concept, the numerous activities and the mandates of the Working Groups under the Common Implementation Strategy are given in the Work Programmes informally agreed by the EU Water Directors.

The Common Implementation Strategy also supports the Commission in delivering its obligations for further policy development (Daughter Directives on Groundwater and on Priority Substances).

In addition, Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks is closely coordinated with the Water Framework Directive. The Common Implementation Strategy therefore also supports the implementation of the Floods Directive through the Working group on Floods.

Additional key doccuments and links:

  • Water economics
    Economics is important in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. Follow this link to find more information, guidance, studies and training material on these requirements and more.
  • WFD implementation links
    Links to the official WFD implementation web sites of the Member States, International River Basin Commissions and WFD Pilot River Basins.

The documents which are prepared in the context of the Common Implementation Strategy and many other useful documents are available on a specific information exchange platform which was set up for this process, the so-called WFD CIRCA Interest Group "Implementing the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive".

How to join the Common Implementation Strategy
Organisations interested in joining the Strategic Co-ordination Group, or any of the Working Groups under the Common Implementation Strategy should send their application to the following email address: The application should be accompanied by all the relevant supporting documents, including justification that the organisation fulfils the eligibility criteria set out in the Rules of Procedure .