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The transition of EU water policy towards the Water Framework Directive’s Integrated River Basin Management paradigm

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Title: The transition of EU water policy towards the Water Framework Directive’s Integrated River Basin Management paradigm
Authors: Giakoumis, T
Voulvoulis, N
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Introduced in 2000 to reform and rationalise water policy and management across the European Union (EU) Member States (MS), the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the EU’s flagship legislation on water protection, is widely acknowledged as the embodiment and vessel for the application of the Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) paradigm. Its ecological objectives, perhaps even more challenging than the prospect of statutory catchment planning itself, were for all EU waters to achieve ‘good status’ by 2015 (except where exemptions applied) and the prevention of any further deterioration. In support of the upcoming WFD review in 2019, the paper reviews the transition of EU policies that led to the adoption of the WFD, to identify the reasons why the Directive was introduced and what it is trying to deliver, and to place progress with its implementation into context. It further investigates reasons that might have limited the effectiveness of the Directive and contributed to the limited delivery and delays in water quality improvements. Findings reveal that different interpretations on the Directive’s objectives and exemptions left unresolved since its negotiation, ambiguity and compromises observed by its Common Implementation Strategy and lack of real support for the policy shift required have all been barriers to the harmonised transposition of the IRBM paradigm, the key to delivering good ecological status. The 2019 WFD review offers a unique opportunity to realign the implementation of the Directive to its initial aspirations and goals.
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2018
Date of Acceptance: 28-Jun-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/66944
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00267-018-1080-z
ISSN: 0364-152X
Start Page: 819
End Page: 831
Journal / Book Title: Environmental Management
Volume: 62
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00267-018-1080-z.pdf
Online Publication Date: 2018-07-09
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy