Euro-limpacs Deliverables

ABSTRACT - DELIVERABLE 36

Report describing European policies and international agreements affecting catchment management

This report provides an overview of European policies and international agreements, which have affected and could be expected to affect the implementation of catchment management. The review looks at the European level, thus mostly excluding the National level and the transposition of directives/conventions. The review is meant as a first input to the Decision Support System of the Euro−limpacs Project, and details on the individual policies and agreements can be developed and discussed further as the system requirements become clearer. The overarching piece of legislation in this sphere is the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), which will be the focus of this report. The WFD has several characteristics, which breaks with traditional Water Policies in Europe, and at the same time it forms part of a general development in environmental regulation. The report will briefly go through this development. Some of the main points are:
i) Decision making: increased openness and transparency and strengthening of public and stakeholder participation (art. 14)
ii) Administration: Fit between biological and administrative units; Development of River Basin Authorities (art. 1, 15, art. 3)
iii) Ecosystem approach: Integration of surface and groundwater and other water types in one framework (art. 4)

iv) Regulative tools: Environmental externalities included in water pricing (art. 9), No deterioration clause, agreement on standards/parameters (art. )
v) The ?combined approach? to pollution control (art. 16)
The WFD will update or impact most of the existing water legislation in Europe. Thus, the Directive interacts with an enormous amount of legislation in environment, agriculture, development and infrastructure sectors, etc. The report examines legislation and agreements in these sectors.

The report is divided into 4 main sections outlining main European policies and international agreements in the areas mentioned above. The text is divided into sections according to their framework and their relation to catchment management, and their geography and timing for implementation is discussed. At the beginning of each section there is a small discussion of the development and main points related to catchment management.

Section 1 discusses general policy development in EU in the environmental regulation area, with particular attention to the regulation of water. Section 1 also looks at some of the key concepts in the WFD, and the treaties and agreements supporting these.

Section 2 provides a review of the agreements and treaties directly concerned with water in their main subject or sub−sections. For each of these a small description is provided. Some of these directives will be repealed and replaced by the WFD. However, it is a premise of the WFD that legal provisions are not weakened by the implementation of the WFD. Thus, existing agreements and directives must be adhered to. Section 2 also provides and overview of International River Basin Districts in the European Union and close neighbours, and sum up treaties related to handling conflicts and cross border co−operation in these areas specifically.

Section 3 addresses agreements and treaties related to management, administration and implementation in general, for example, procedures for meetings and co−ordination etc at European and international levels.

Section 4 draws up main legislation and agreements from other sectors, including Agriculture, Industry, Tourism, Energy, etc. It briefly discusses the provisions in the financing instruments of the EU for minimising negative impacts on the water environment in investment and for direct investments in water quality improvements.

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