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EurEau newsletter - edition 31 - December 2018

Innovation in the European Water Sector

The European water sector is constantly innovating in order to bring consumers the best water services at the best price and better protect the environment.

Our 2018 Annual Congress in Cyprus showcased several of these. We will present these and other innovative ideas here, starting with smart metering in the Broenderslev Water Company in Denmark.

EU news

WFD: Member States approve CIS work programme

The Work Programme 2019-2021 of the Common Implementation Strategy for the Water Framework Directive has been approved and published. It is available here.

Regulation on Water Reuse

The AGRI committee of the European Parliament voted its opinion on the proposal for a Regulation for Water Reuse on the 3rd December.

Read our full article on the EurEau website.

More information on the EurEau position here.

Fertiliser Regulation

After reaching a compromise in trilogue on 20 and 27 November 2018, the agreed text of the Fertiliser Regulation is now available.

Sewage sludge has not been accepted as input material for compost and digestate, even though good quality sludge is close to the quality criteria proposed in the regulation. However, the accepted wording allows waste water operators to continue producing EU compost and digestate as well as national fertilisers, as long as the production lines are well separated.

Struvite, biochar and ash-based products will have to be assessed by the European Commission and to be included in the regulation if the assessment is positive. According to the on-going work, struvite and ashes coming from sewage sludge should be included.

It is a good conclusion to keep all the doors open for the recycling of nutrient in Europe.

At national level, sewage sludge can continue to be used as national fertiliser where it is already possible.

CAP: MEPs see ‘re-nationalisation’

The European Parliament is increasingly unlikely to agree on a first reading position on the Common Agricultural Policy before the European elections. Strong divisions remain with regards to the environmental ambitions which many MEPs, including the AGRI rapporteur E Herranz García (report here), would like to weaken. The more than 6,000 amendments from the AGRI Committee and those from the ENVI Committee will be available here.

MEPs from most political groups view the CAP proposals as an effort to re-nationalise agriculture. Amendments have therefore been submitted to reject the proposal altogether.
Read the EurEau position on the CAP.

Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive

The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee tabled amendments to the INI report on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive. The report, drafted by Jytte Gutland (SE/S&D) looks at the implementation of the directive so far. The 263 amendments can be found here.

The vote in ENVI should take place on 21 January. EurEau will issue voting recommendations ahead of it.

The AGRI committee adopted its opinion on this own-initiative report  at the end of November.

SUP Directive: Co-legislators head for agreement before Christmas

Council and Parliament intended to conclude the negotiations on the Single-Use Plastics Directive on 18 December so that Environment ministers can give the green light on 20 December. The latest Council position shows increased ambition levels. Regarding wet wipes, Member States are now very close to the EU Parliament’s position in terms of labelling, EPR and awareness raising campaigns.

Non-toxic environment strategy: Commission will not deliver

The 7th Environmental Action Programme required the Commission to present this strategy by 2015. It should cover nanomaterials, exposure to endocrine disruptors, regulatory approaches to the effects of chemicals in combination, and the “minimisation of exposure to chemicals in products”. Last July, nine Member States had called on the Commission to deliver this strategy promptly.

DG Environment has now admitted that the strategy will not be delivered under this Commission. If delivered at all, it might take a different form.

Feedback on the Industrial Emissions Roadmap

EurEau gave its feedback to the IED Roadmap. You can read it here.

Cybersecurity Act: towards the certification of hardware

The co-legislators agreed on measures to enhance cybersecurity. The EU’s cybersecurity agency, ENISA, will receive increased responsibility and funding. The EU will establish a certification framework setting cybersecurity standards for products during the design and development stage. By 2023, the Commission will define the scope of products that require obligatory certification. The goal is to offer businesses a one-stop portal to certify that their products meet certain cybersecurity standards.

EU Committee of the Regions launches survey on the SDGs

The CoR wants to showcase how cities and regions implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This survey wants to influence EU policy and contribute to the OECD Programme on A Territorial Approach to SDGs: A role for cities and regions to leave no one behind. The survey will be open until 22 February 2019. 

PRIMA – Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area

The aim of PRIMA is to build research and innovation capacities and to develop knowledge and common innovative solutions for agro-food systems, to make them sustainable, and for integrated water provision and management in the Mediterranean area. The call for proposals is now open. 

Communications news

Extended Producer Responsibility

EurEau President, Bruno Tisserand, wrote an article for The European Files on Extended Producer Responsibility and the control at Source principle. You can read it here.


The deadline for abstracts to NORDIWA2019 is 10 January. This years conference takes place in Helsinki 23-25 September 2019. Read more here. https://www.nordiwa.org/

News from member states

New UK resource and waste strategy

The UK Government published a new resource and waste strategy. Among other things, it includes something new for the UK: producers of packaging and a range of other products must meet the full costs of its disposal. It also includes a tax on packaging with <30% recycled content, producer responsibility, and proposes a deposit return scheme for e.g. coffee cups due to plastics content.

The strategy can be found here, with a summary here.


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.

You can keep up with all the EurEau news via our website, and on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds.

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