Abstract - Alberto Garrido and Lucia de Stefano
08:50 Lessons from two decades of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive
Alberto Garrido, Professor, Agriculture and Natural Resource Economics and Deputy Director, CEIGRAM, Universidad, Politecnia de Madrid Spain
Lucia De Stefano, Associate Professor, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain and Deputy Director, Water Observatory of the Botin Foundation
Abstract: The EU passed the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2000. With it, the EU established “a framework for the protection of inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater”. In EU Law a Directive clearly sets out the goals and targets in a common timeline, and the Member States (MSs) must develop and apply their national policies and laws to reach them. MSs are accountant to the European Commission and can be fined if they do not meet the goals in the designated dates. The European Commission monitors closely the implementation of the WFD and issues reports, based on which assessments can be made with regard to its success and value. In our talk, we will review the most significant data and facts, summarize some academic and gray literature about its implementation and draw a few lessons in relation to its design, focus and approaches. As a general conclusion, the WFD is unique in many designing principles, and relies strongly on the monitoring, methodological leadership and surveillance of the European Commission. Its high level of ambition and its complexity has generated intense debate about its implementation in both the policy and the scientific area. In our view, the WFD is a successful example of advanced and ambitious water policy, and yet a few flaws explain why its main goal of achieving good status of all waters in 2015 has not been fulfilled.