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Assessment of the effectiveness of reported Water Framework Directive Programmes of Measures - Part I – Pan-European scale screening of the pressures addressed by member states

Abstract: 
In this report we propose a classification of river basin districts (RBDs) in terms of the consistency between reported significant pressures and pressures expected to be relevant in each RBD on the basis of pan-European indicators. We discuss the results and limitations of the classification obtained at European scale, and we suggest a perspective for its use for improving Water Framework Directive (WFD) implementation and the subsequent in-depth analysis of programmes of measures (PoMs) and their effectiveness. Overall, the analysis highlights that some river basin districts report pressures in a way that is in line with expectations from European indicators, while some others report either higher or lower pressure intensity than expected. Reasons for these discrepancies may include lack of relevant local information in the assessment of European indicators, and under/overestimation of pressures by the RBD authorities or reporting member states. The analysis presented here is based on data aggregated at RBD level, as allowed by the available information, and should be regarded mainly as a proof of concept. In the future, the same analysis should be updated with reference to individual water bodies, and taking into consideration the updates of river basin management plans and PoMs under development at the time of writing this report.