EurEau newsletter - December 2022

EurEau newsletter - December 2022

EurEau newsletter - December 2022

‚Äć‚ÄćEurEau news

Merry Christmas and all our best wishes for 2023

It is the end of another year, and we thank you all for the collaborations, the excellent work and the fruitful meetings we had over these last 12 months. We are very happy to see a return to ‚Äėnormal life‚Äô after a difficult two years.

And with that, we wish you and yours all the best for safe and happy end-of-year festivities, and we look forward to 2023!


Sébastien Mouret joins the EurEau team

We are pleased to welcome Sébastien Mouret to the EurEau Secretariat.

Sébastien joins us from Global Water Intelligence in the UK. Sébastien is French and has a very good overview of European water policy.

You can contact Sébastien at sebastien.mouret(@)

We are very excited to have Sébastien join us, and we are sure you will join us in welcoming him to the EurEau team.


Speaking out

Oliver Loebel, EurEau Secretary General, spoke at the Pharmaceuticals in the Environment Conference which took place in the European Parliament, Brussels on 8 November.

Oliver went on to talk about adaptation to climate change at the 6th Meeting of the Parties to the UN Protocol on Water and Health, organised in Geneva on 16 November.

Caroline Greene, EurEau Senior Communications Manager, spoke at the Tallinn Water 95th anniversary conference, on the challenges facing the European Water sector, on 1 December.

Oliver spoke at the 3rd International Conference Strategies toward Green Deal Implementation - Water, Raw Materials & Energy, which took place 5-7 December 2022 online.

Gari Villa-Landa and Oliver Loebel met with the Svenskt Vatten Management Committee and Board of Administration on 21 November and 6 December, respectively.

Pär Dalhielm, EurEau Vice President, will represent us at the high-level Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform on 14 December in Brussels. 

‚ÄćEU news


17-18 January 2023 - 2nd Summit of the Organic and organo-mineral Fertilisers Industries in Europe; Brussels, Belgium. More…


5-7 September 2023 ‚Äď NORDIWA call for abstracts for the conference to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden. More on LinkedIn‚Ķ


Water legislation

Bathing Water Directive: new timeline

The Commission has postponed the revision of the Bathing Water Directive into its next mandate (ie: after November 2024, so that the UWWTD and the Priority List of controlled surface water and groundwater pollutants are finalised).


Water Reuse: Commission discusses technical guidance

The Commission’s Working Group on Water Reuse met in Ispra 17-18 November. We were represented by Philippe Rouge (AEAS, Spain). The meeting focused on the technical guidance for the water reuse risk management plans with Member States.


Water and agriculture

Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation: water protection jeopardised 

Following the presentation of the draft Regulation on June 2022, EurEau actively promoted measures to protect drinking water resources from pesticide contamination.

It is worrying to see that a majority of Member States and the Commission are willing to sacrifice water protection in order to find a compromise on the definition of sensitive areas. The discussions will continue in Council and Parliament over the next months despite the Council request for an updated impact assessment expected before the end of the year. You can read our position here.   


Fertilisers: Commission presents strategy to counter crisis

The Commission presented a Communication on fertilisers proposing measures to ensure the availability and affordability of fertilisers in light of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

While this document does not provide new legislative requirements or finances, it encourages the partial replacement of mineral fertilisers by organic fertilisers including from sewage sludge. It establishes the link between the more stringent nutrient recovery targets in the new Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive and farming.

The Commission will present its Nutrient Action Plan in 2023 with the aim to close nutrient cycles.


Water and the environment

WFD, EQSD and GWD: proposal published

The Commission published a proposal amending the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Environmental Quality Standards Directive (EQSD) and Groundwater Directive (GWD) on 26 October. It enlarges the list of priority substances with pharmaceuticals, pesticides and a group of 24 PFAS, and strengthens the quality standards for some of the current EQS. It also changes the provisions and procedures to regularly update the lists, and improves aspects of monitoring, reporting, EQS harmonisation at EU level and Member State cooperation.

These stricter EQS should lead to the better protection of water resources, which is a prerequisite to providing safe and affordable drinking water.


REACH restrictions: general PFAS restriction is upcoming

ECHA is finalising the opinions on the PFAS restriction in fire-fighting foams, to which EurEau submitted input. We expect the presentation of the restriction by the 4 MS (DE, NL, SE and DN) and Norway by 13 January 2023.

Germany submitted a restriction dossier on Bisphenol A and bisphenols of similar concern for the German government at the ECHA SEAC. It may affect materials in contact with water.


Mercury and RoHS: Commission postpones draft proposals

The Commission has postponed the publication of the Mercury Regulation and Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronic and electrical equipment (RoHS) review.

Dental amalgam is the principal source of mercury pollution in EU waters and we call on the Commission to phase it out by 2025. We sent a letter to the Commission together with other NGOs asking for a speed up of the revision proposal.


Pharma legislation: proposal postponed

The publication was expected for the end of this year but the Commission has postponed it. Oliver presented our position on the environmental risk assessment at the European Parliament Conference on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment on 8 November.

We ask the Commission to consider the environmental impact of medicines by including the extended environmental risk assessment in the authorisation of pharmaceuticals and to restrict marketing options for medicines containing priority substances. 


REACH: Commission postpones the revision

The Commission has postponed the REACH draft proposal to Q4 2023. Most probably this will not allow the EU institutions to approve the revision before the European Parliament elections in 2024.


IED & IE Portal Regulation

The Rapporteur’s draft report on the IED was published on 14 November and contained three amendments supported by EurEau, mandating that water and waste water operators be informed of incidents or non-compliance from an industrial facility affecting them, and ensuring that risks posed to drinking water resources by industrial water discharge are assessed and addressed.

The draft report also weakened provisions to cover livestock rearing and to make emission limit values stricter, however. We do not support these changes. We would like the Directive to go further in involving water and waste water operators in the permitting process.

The deadline for amendments in the ENVI committee for both texts was 7 December. We are now waiting for the translation and publication of the amendments.


Plastics: Commission publishes Guidance on bioplastics

The Commission published a Communication specifying the EU policy framework on biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics with a view to preventing false or misleading market claims. Our key demands regarding litter prevention and the impact of biodegradable plastics on water resources have been included in the final text.

The Communication is not legally binding. You can read the Communication here and the Q&A section here.


Zero Pollution: Commission publishes Monitoring and Outlook Report

As part of its Zero Pollution Action Plan, the Commission released its first Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Report.

The report presents the progress towards achieving the zero pollution targets, the latest evidence on the effects of pollution on health and biodiversity, and its links to the circular economy. The outlook assesses, where possible, the likely evolution of pollution by 2030 in relation to the Zero Pollution targets taking into account agreed or proposed actions (Source: European Commission).


Environmental liability: Commission assesses framework

The Commission organised a stakeholder workshop to assess the functioning of the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD). The official evaluation report is expected for spring 2023 and will probably lead to its revision.

The ELD establishes a framework based on the ‚ÄėPolluter Pays‚Äô Principle to prevent and remedy environmental damage. Activities of drinking water and waste water operators are covered by direct liability.


Chips: Act threatens water resource protection

We recognise the need to secure the EU’s semiconductor supply and support the Commission’s ambition to strengthen the EU’s technological leadership, these objectives must not go against Article 191.2 (TFEU) and deteriorate the quality and quantity of groundwater and surface waters. Read more…

The draft Chips Act (draft Regulation 2022/0032(COD)), which aims to secure the EU’s access to semi-conductors, is currently before the co-legislators.


Water as an essential service

Critical Raw Material Act: Commission proposal expected in spring 2023

The Commission launched a call for evidence and a public consultation to collect input on this future regulation.

EurEau recommends an extension of the scope to all products used by critical entities like water services to ensure continuity of services. 

Our reaction to the call for evidence is here and to the public consultation is here.

This initiative aims to reinforce EU monitoring capacities and strengthen both the EU value chain¬†‚Äď through the identification of mineral resources and raw materials projects in the EU's strategic interest.

‚ÄćÔĽŅInnovation Sharing Platform News

‚ÄćWe launched the discussion on ‚ÄėProcess emissions: methane and nitrous oxide‚Äô with a webinar on 25 November. Our speakers showed the participants the state of the art monitoring, management and mitigation¬†strategies in Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.¬†The discussion continues on the platform.

The next webinar will be on the topic of leakage and will take place in early 2023. Registered users will receive a save the date and an invitation in due course. 

The EurEau Innovation Sharing Platform is open to EurEau members and their member associations. 

You can keep up with all the EurEau news via our¬†website, our¬†EU Matters¬†blog and on¬†Twitter,¬†Linked In,¬†Instagram¬†andÔĽŅ¬†Facebook.

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