Scientists in last ditch bid to defend Water Framework Directive

The EU's main legislation for protecting freshwater ecosystems must not be weakened by a current policy review, according to a statement signed by some 500 scientists and a dozen international organisations representing thousands more.

The European Commission is expected to unveil next week the outcome of a 'fitness check' of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), potentially leading to amendment proposals – an event that is likely to be overshadowed by the unveiling of a ‘European Green Deal’ on 11 December.

The scientists stress the “holistic” nature and potential economic, social and public health benefits of the legislation, adopted in 2000. “For further improvements in water quality and quantity to be achieved, implementation needs a new impetus in member states and from the European Commission, not changes to the policy design,” the statement reads.

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