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EurEau newsletter - February 2020

EurEau News

Meeting with European Commissioner for the Environment

Oliver Sarah Michael Claudia Sinkevičius Carla

EurEau met with the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius on 20 February. 

It was the opportunity to discuss the place of water in the Green Deal and the role played by water services to realise the new Commission’s political agenda.met with the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius on 20 February.

We were very happy to hear that Commissioner Sinkevičius supports the source-control approach!.

EU news

Drinking Water Directive 

The COREPER endorsed the agreement reached on the DWD at the beginning of the month. The ENVI Committee of the European Parliament confirmed the deal on 18 February with 61 votes in favour, 3 against and 3 abstentions.

This text will be formally adopted by the Environment Council on 5 March and, after the linguistic checks will be voted in the European Parliament Plenary in the coming months (maybe in June).

The agreement represents a great improvement on the Commission’s parameters and parametric proposed values, the risk-based approach and the materials in contact with drinking water.

Water legislation fitness check

The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee held an exchange of views with the European Commission on the water legislation fitness check. More here.

Water Framework Directive: Strategic Coordination Group meets

The Strategic Coordination Group of the Common Implementation Strategy met on 21 February to consider the results of the WFD fitness check and the proposed substances to be included on the next priority substances watch list. The updated list should be published before summer 2020.

EurEau presented its own view on the conclusions of the fitness check.

Single Use Plastics Directive: counting the cost

On 25 February, the Commission organised another stakeholder meeting to discuss the costs of litter clean-up actions.

Pesticides Regulation: Court of Auditors points at weaknesses

A new European Court of Auditors report stresses that “the European Commission has been unable so far to substantially reduce and control risks associated to pesticides use by farmers.” The reasons include delayed and incomplete implementation of the 2009 Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides, weak use of the ‘low-risk plant protection products’ category, and few incentives for farmers to reduce their dependency on pesticides. In particular, applying integrated pest management principles is not included as a condition for receiving CAP payments.

The ECA concludes that “an opportunity to properly address this issue was offered by a new CAP coming into force in 2021, but was unfortunately missed.”

To the press release here.

Microplastics: Commission to step up actions

As part of its Plastics Strategy and the new Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission will propose measures to reduce the amount of unintentionally released microplastics in the environment.

The European Commission will launch a study on possible mitigation measures for emissions of tyre wear particles and synthetic fibres and their costs and benefits. The results could serve as an impact assessment for future legislative action.

EurEau joined the second phase of the Tyre and Road Wear Particles Platform initiated by the tyre manufacturers’ association ETRMA. The kick-off meeting took place on 18 February. As regards synthetic fibres, EurEau met with DG GROW on 5 February.

Security of water supply

The European Commission is conducting a study on the future of its European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection. EurEau members wishing to participate in this survey can contact the EurEau secretariat.

The European Reference Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection has finalised its “Guidance on the production of a water security plan for drinking water supply”. Operators wishing to contribute to its validation by implementing the concept in their utility, are requested to contact the secretariat. The document will be presented at the ERNCIP workshop of 23 March (Vivaqua, Brussels).

CAP: Study on the impact of the CAP on water

In March 2020, the Commission will publish a study in March on the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy on the quality and quantity of water resources. This will be followed by a public consultation in a staff working document on agriculture and its impact on water, soil and biodiversity.

Farm-to-Fork Strategy: Commission publishes roadmap

The Commission has initiated the official process for the adoption of its Farm-to-Fork strategy by publishing the related Roadmap. It will focus on ensuring sustainable primary production, stimulating sustainable food processing, retail, hospitality and food service practices, promoting sustainable food consumption (facilitating the shift towards healthy, sustainable diets) and reducing food loss and waste.

EurEau will provide feedback.

Agriculture and water: Court of Auditors launch assessment

The European court of Auditors will assess to what extent the EU farming policy protects Europe’s water resources with a focus on water quantity.

EurEau contributed to the process in a stakeholder meetong organised on 5 February and through additional documents.

Pharmaceuticals in the Environment: European Parliament Motion for Resolution

The ENVI Committee of the European Parliament is drafting a motion for resolution on the issue of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, following the publication of the Commission Strategic Approach in March 2019.

The draft resolution received 258 amendments and the co-sponsors are now negotiating the wording of compromise-amendments. EurEau will issue voting recommendations to MEPs ahead of the ENVI vote that should take place on 5 March.

CIS publication launched

The new CIS guidance n°37 “Steps for defining and assessing ecological potential for improving comparability of Heavily Modified Water Bodies” along with its “mitigation measures library” are now published on the website of the Commission.

Out and about + communications news

Into the great big blue: Revolve Media

Revolve Media published a piece by EurEau Secretary General Oliver Loebel on the new politics, new faces and policies under review.

News from Members

Movers and Shakers

Vassil Trenev replaces Ivan Ivanov on the General Assembly for Bulgaria.


4 – 5 March 2020 - European FOG (fat, oil, grease) Summit – Amsterdam, Netherlands. All information regarding the programme and confirmed speakers is available at https://www.swiftcomply.com/fogsummit2020/

9-10 March 2020 - Urban Resilience in a context of Climate Change (URCC) Conference, organised in the framework of the RESCCUE project, will take place in Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, in Barcelona Spain. You can find all the information here.

23 March 2020 – TG Water Conference with ERNCIP on improving the protection of critical infrastructure; Brussels, Belgium.

1-3 April 2020 – Lisbon, Portugal. Urban Future Global Conference. One of the themes is water. If you would like to speak at the event, contact the organisers and propose a topic. More

27-30 April 2020 - The International Water Association is co-organising the first IWA Digital Water Summit together with the Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia and AEAS in Bilbao, Spain.

More: https://digitalwatersummit.org/

8-12 June 2020 - IWA’s Nutrient Recovery & Removal conference organised by Aalto University and HSY, Helsinki and Porvoo. Early bird is valid before mid-March! Read more: www.iwa-nrr.org.

15-16 June 2020 - European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference, Vienna, Austria. The call for abstracts for presentations for the six parallel sessions is open. More…

3 July 2020 – Lisbon, Portugal. OSPAR Ministerial Meeting.

17-18 November 2020 - 3rd Water JPI Conference from in Mulheim an der Ruhr.

25-28 May 2021 – CEOCOR; hosted by ÖVGW in Vienna, Austria.

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