EurEau newsletter - edition 30 - November 2018
EurEau Annual Congress - Limassol
EurEau took over the Grand Resort Hotel Limassol for our annual congress earlier this month.
Our Plenary Session was on the topic of innovation.
Once again, we thank our magnificent hosts, the Cyprus Water & Sewerage Boards Association.
The Joint Working Group on Water Reuse will meet on 12 December in Brussels to discuss the amendments proposed by MEPs in the ENVI committee. It will drive the actions to be conducted in early January before the vote in ENVI on 21 January.
Stakeholder Conference on the Evaluation of the UWWTD
On 16 November, the European Commission organised a stakeholder conference on the evaluation of the UWWTD. They presented the progress of the work and asked for more facts and figures from the audience to address different topics. Greet de Gueldre, our co-chairperson of the waste water committee, presented the UWWTD’s coherence with environmental policy, especially, climate change and circular economy.
Endocrine disrupters – Commission communication
The Commission adopted a Communication, confirming its commitment to protecting citizens and the environment from hazardous chemicals. The communication also outlines how the Commission intends to ensure that the EU approach remains the most modern and fit-for-purpose in the world.
An agreement was found between the European Parliament and the Council. The details are not clear yet but the EU should have a new Fertiliser Regulation before the European elections in May.
CAP: EurEau meets Commissioner Hogan
We met the Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, on 27 November to discuss the protection of water resources under the future Common Agricultural Policy. Mr Hogan highlighted the Commission’s efforts to make farming more sustainable and emphasised the need to defend the environmental credentials in the legislative process. (picture?)
CAP: Parliament discusses first reading position
Members of the European Parliament’s AGRI and ENVI committees are finalising their amendments for the draft revised CAP. We want to see the better protection of water resources through reinforced conditionality, an effective farm sustainability tool for nutrients and attractive eco-schemes. However, the report of the AGRI rapporteur, Esther Herranz García (EPP/ES) tries to weaken the environmental requirements.
The vote in the AGRI committee might take place in March 2019. In that case, a plenary vote in April could be envisaged. The negotiations with the Council will not start before September 2019.
EU farm policy – evaluation of its impact on water
EurEau gave feedback on the initiative “EU farm policy – evaluation of its impact on water”.
Regulation on Water Reuse
The vote of the opinion in the AGRI committee will be on Monday 3 December. It will be followed in January by the vote in ENVI committee. So far EurEau position has been well received by the MEPs, we hope it will be confirmed by the votes.
On the council side, no progress has been done under the Austrian Presidency. We hope the Romanian Presidency will allow technical discussion and progress on this important file.
SUP Directive: trilogue discussions progress
The European Parliament, Member States and the Commission are currently trying to agree on the final text of the Single Use Plastics Directive. There are signs that Member States are now more open to maintaining higher ambition levels, in line with the Commission’s original proposal. Some of the provisions regarding wet wipes have been re-introduced but related EPR schemes still exclude waste management, as proposed by the Commission and the Parliament. All parties wish to finalise negotiations before Christmas.
The Drinking Water Directive
After the European Parliament Plenary vote on the DWD at the end of October, the text continues to be developed by the Working Party on the Environment on the Council side. The last meeting of the WPE on the DWD was held on Friday 16 November and Member States discussed the proposal of the 10 Member States on the products in contact with drinking water that EurEau supports. There might be an additional WPE meeting on the 6 December. It is very unlikely that an agreement on the DWD is reached before the European elections in May 2019.
ECI Directive: public consultation launched
The European Commission launched a public consultation about the functioning of the European Critical Infrastructure Directive. This is part of a wider evaluation process to assess the scope and content of the directive, as well as how and to what extent the directive has been implemented at both the Member State and European levels. The deadline for input is 11 February 2019.
More details on the evaluation process are here.
ECHA: restrictions for microplastics and oxo-degradable plastics?
Following a request from the Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is considering use restrictions for oxo-degradable plastics and microplastics intentionally added to all kinds of products, including paints, cosmetics, detergents and fertilisers.
ECHA seems to support restriction measures which could range from bans to labelling.
The agency will finalise its proposal at the beginning of 2019. Due to lengthy comitology procedures, the Commission will not receive it before spring 2020.
WFD: Member States consider the future
The Water Directors set up a working group to consider options for the WFD. The group has now published its conclusions in a report entitled “The Future of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) – Water Directors input to the fitness check process on experiences and challenges of WFD’s implementation and options for the way forward”.
The Public Consultation on the Fitness Check of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive is now available in all EU languages here.
The EurEau JWG on the WFD is working on a draft answer that the EurEau committees will receive at the beginning of December.
EPR: Intergroup meeting confirms need for effective schemes
The EU Parliament’s intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development organised a conference on 22 November 2018 to discuss Marine litter: What role for Extended Producer Responsibility?. Many speakers including Commissioner Katainen, MEPs M Spyraki, J Guteland and F Federley confirmed the need for effective EPR schemes to protect the environment and close material circles. Our Secretary General, Oliver Loebel, spoke on the role of source control and EPR to minimise microfibre emissions. See summary video here and more information here.
Multiple Stressors in Aquatic Ecosystems
The FP7 project MARS has recently published a document "MARS recommendations on how to best assess and mitigate impacts of multiple stressors in aquatic ecosystems" that is available through the project website.
Czech out their new website
Our Czech members, Sovak, have a new website. You can take a look by visiting: www.sovak.cz/cs.
Other speaking opportunities
Caterina Christodoulou spoke at Ecomondo in Italy on phosphorus recovery. Her presentation is here.
Carla Chiaretti from the EurEau Secretariat spoke about the governance and the challenges of water services at the SMAT event “I driver dello sviluppodello sviluppo” in Turin on 19 November.
Mariano Blanco wrote about critical infrastructure in this article (in Spanish).
5-6 December 2018 - Making Europe a safer place: demonstrating the impact of EU-funded security research; Brussels, Belgium.
7 December 2018 - Arjen Frentz from Vewin will present EurEau’s views in a meeting on the pressures of agriculture on water resources organised by the Fairway/Water Protect project.
22 January 2019 - Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Water and Agriculture (how to implement the Knowledge Hub on Water and Agriculture), Brussels, Belgium.
28-31 May 2019 - 4th European Climate Change Adaptation Conference: working together to prepare for future; Lisbon, Portugal.
6-8 October 2019 - ECSM, European Conference on Sludge Management, Liège, Belgium.