The NGO-led ProtectWater campaign inspired citizens across Europe and beyond to take a stand for Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands, and the strong law which protects them, the EU Water Framework Directive, during the European Commission’s ongoing fitness-check.
Sergiy Moroz, Water Policy Officer at the EEB, said
Europeans care about their rivers, lakes and coasts and more than 375,000 people have sent a clear message to the European Commission and the EU governments that they must improve implementation and enforcement of the EU’s flagship water law. It is unacceptable that instead of getting all hands on deck to bring life back to our waters by 2027 as the law obliges them, the EU governments and vested economic interests are pushing for decades of delays and weakening of this crucial law.
The ProtectWater campaign was led by WWF, the European Environmental Bureau, the European Anglers Alliance, the European Rivers Network and Wetlands International – who together form the Living Rivers Europe Coalition.
It facilitated citizens’ participation in the European Commission’s public consultation on the Water Framework Directive (the only opportunity for the general public to have its say during the EU fitness-check) to express their clear opposition to changing the legislation. It was launched in October 2018 and went on to be supported by more than 130 civil society organisations, including national partners and offices of Greenpeace, BirdLife and Friends of the Earth, as well as unions.
The EU’s official analysis of the public consultation, which closed on 11 March, is likely to be published in the autumn of 2019, with the final decision on the future of the legislation expected by the first half of 2020.
As Living Rivers Europe, we will be there every step of the way to ensure that the Water Framework Directive remains intact, and will continue to push for this visionary legislation to be fully implemented by Member States and enforced by the European Commission so that it that the vast majority of Europe’s waters are returned to good health by 2027 (at the absolute latest).