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EurEau newsletter - edition 18 - November 2017

EurEau annual congress
Our annual congress was held in Bilbao on 18-20 October. Our Spanish hosts surpassed themselves, finding a wonderful venue for the committee meetings and showing us the best that the Basque region has to offer. Thank you to all who participated in making the congress a huge success.

The Thursday afternoon plenary session was on the implementation of the SDG’s. We welcomed Peter Koefoed Bjørnsen, Director of the UNEP-DHI Partnership in the Centre on Water and Environment, Marta Moren-Abat from the European Commission, and José Maria Villanueva del Casal, Technical Director at the CABB.

EurEau meets members
On 11 October, Oliver Loebel, EurEau Secretary General, met with a delegation of the Dutch members from Unie van Waterschappen, in Brussels in order to exchange on current priorities.

EurEau president Bruno Tisserand and Oliver met a delegation of our Estonian member association, EVEL, in Tallinn on 25 October. The goal was to learn more about the Estonian water sector and to understand how EurEau can better respond to EVEL’s needs.

They also met with the Latvian water association LWWWWA.

EurEau out and about
Oliver presented European circular economy legislation for water at Utilitalia’s Festival dell’Acqua in Bari on 10 October.

EurEau President Bruno Tisserand spoke at the NBS2017 a flagship conference of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU. He presented the possibility for water services to sustainably manage rain water in cities through natural retention measures.

Meeting - Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
Michel Dantin and Peter Liese MEPs will co-host a European Parliament intergroup meeting on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, on Wednesday 29 November 2017 between 16.30-18.30. To register, see here. More information is here.

EU news
Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive evaluation roadmap
The European Commission published the WFD and the FD evaluation roadmap, available here. EurEau will submit its feedback by the 17 November deadline. The members of the JWG WFD will work on it. You can submit your own feedback by clicking here.

A detailed public consultation will be launched in the first half of 2018.

Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive evaluation roadmap
The European Commission published the UWWTD evaluation roadmap, available here. EurEau will submit its feedback by the 9 November deadline. The members of the EurEau Waste Water committee is working on it. You can submit your own feedback by clicking here.

DG SANTE plan on chlorate
DG SANTE and national competent authorities are working on a plan to reduce the dietary risks related to chlorate in food and drinking water and to resolve the systemic non-compliance with the pesticides MRLs.
This should be on the agenda of the biocides Competent Authorities meeting on 24 November, where our expert Eric Chauveheid will attend on behalf of EurEau.  

Commission Work Programme 2018
The CWP2018 is available here. Under ‘new initiatives’ the one ‘Delivering on the Circular Economy Action Plan’ includes a strategy on plastics use, reuse and recycling (non-legislative, Q4 2017); a proposal for a Regulation on minimum quality requirements for reused water (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Art. 192 TFEU, Q4 2017); a REFIT revision of the Drinking Water Directive (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Art. 192 TFEU, Q4 2017); an initiative to address legal, technical or practical bottlenecks at the interface of chemical, product and waste legislation (non-legislative, Q4 2017); and a monitoring framework for the circular economy (non-legislative, Q4 2017).    

Parliament objects to endocrine disrupting chemicals definition
On Wednesday 4 October the European Parliament followed the opinion of the Environment committee to object to the criteria proposed by the European Commission for the identification of endocrine disrupting chemicals under the Plant Protection Product Regulation. The European Commission will have to come back with another proposal in the coming month. More

Glyphosate: MEPs ask for a full ban by end 2022
Parliament backed a full ban on glyphosate-based herbicides by December 2022 and immediate restrictions on the use of the substance, on 24 November 2017. This resolution is non-biding, its objective is to put pressure on the European Commission and the Council.

Member States must adopt their position by a qualified majority but remain deeply divided. Greenpeace believes that ten countries would vote against a ten-year renewal of the glyphosate licence (A, B, F, GR, HR, IT, L, MT, S, SI), while two countries would abstain (D, PT). Sixteen countries may vote in favour (BG, CY, CZ, DK, E, EE, FIN, H, IRL, LT, LV, NL, PL, RO, SK, UK). If not renewed, the licence expires in December 2017.

Water reuse
The European Commission finalised the impact assessment of the proposal for an EU instrument on water reuse and submitted it to the Regular Scrutiny Board of the Commission on 25 October 2017. The board requested to improve the impact assessment for a potential EU level instrument on water reuse. The European Commission is aiming at finalising this revision very soon and will give more details at the Ad-hoc Task group meeting in Cyprus on 6-7 November. Iacovos Papaiacovou, our Cypriot GA member, will replace Pier Paolo Abis for this meeting to convey the EurEau message and see if the proposal can still be presented before the end of the year as expected.

Water JPI
The 2017 Water JPI call is just published: here.

Standing of NGO´s in administrative proceedings (Case c-664/15)
The Supreme Administrative Court in Austria asks for guidance on the standing of an environmental organisation in seeking access to justice. The questions arise in the context of an application for a permit to abstract water from a river for the purposes of producing snow for a ski resort.  

The Advocate General Sharpston at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said in this preliminary ruling that  Non-Government-Associations (NGO) have the right of access to administrative or judicial procedures. The legal basis for this right was Art. 4 WFD in connection with the Aarhus Convention.
If the ECJ follows this opinion – it does so very often –every water service provider asking for a new or renewed permit to use water (abstraction or discharge) will face NGO´s in the administrative or judicial procedure. We await how the ECJ will decide.

HELCOM consultation - ‘State of the Baltic Sea’
HELCOM are looking for your overall views of their report and its presentation. You can also provide comments on the reports’ sub-chapters. The consultation is open from 1 October 2017 – 31 December 2017. You can close the survey window at any time – your responses will be saved, and you can continue later by clicking the ‘Begin Survey’ button again. The response will be sent to the HELCOM Secretariat once you click ‘Done’ on the last page. The survey responses are not confidential.

Background information on the report and the regional consultation, as well as a list of invited organisations, is here.

Survey: here.

Fertiliser Regulation
On 24 October, the European Parliament voted the amendments on the Fertiliser Regulation as a basis for the EP position in the trialogue discussion. All the IMCO amendments that EurEau supported were voted in plenary.

Read more here (article from EurActiv features EurEau secretariat’s Bertrand Vallet).

Member States will now approve their position in the Council and enter into discussions with the European Parliament to find a compromise on diverging positions.

EurEau member news
Hello and goodbye
Stefan Bostrom from Sweden attended his last EurEau meeting after over 20 years in the family. We all send Stefan our thanks and appreciation for his important contributions down the years and wish him all the best for his retirement.

Giordano Colarullo (IT) and Stuart Colville (UK) were appointed to the EurEau Executive Committee and the General Assembly at the last General Assembly meeting.

EurEau communications
EurEau in the media
Oliver published articles in the Vewin’s Waterspiegel and DVGW’s energy|wasser|praxis in October. 

You can see a list of events happening around Europe here. The following are a selection. If you have events happening in your country, let us know, especially if you would like to get the EurEau perspective by having us represented at it!

Important dates
23-24 November: Persistent and Mobile Organic Chemicals in the Water Cycle: Linking science, technology and regulation to protect drinking water quality, in Leipzig, Germany

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