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EurEau newsletter - edition 48 - June 2020

EurEau News

EurEau Annual Review 2019

Water Framework Directive, Drinking Water, Reuse, microplastics, micropollutants, Extended Producer Responsibility; 2019 brought a lot of change and opportunity for the water sector. Our review of the year covers some of our work over the twelve months. 

You can read our review here.

EurEau report on Innovating for a Greener Future: European water service priorities

Our world is changing rapidly and so are water services. Innovation is key to guaranteeing the affordability of safe, sustainable and resilient water services for the decades to come. Water service providers are well aware of the challenges and have identified a number of technological and non-technological areas requiring particular innovation efforts with a view to meeting the goals of the European Green Deal. 

The research needs are laid out in this report and should help policy makers in designing research and innovation programmes in a way that responds to the real needs of drinking water and waste water operators.

You can find the report here.

Malta appoints new General Assembly representative

Malta has appointed Ivan Falzon as CEO, replacing Richard Bilocca. Ivan takes over from Julia Scicluna on the EurEau General Assembly.

EU news

WFD: Water Framework Directive: no full revision planned

The European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius, confirmed that the Water Framework Directive (WFD) will not be revised. The directive is the centrepiece of the EU’s water quality legislation, requiring countries to ensure that all waterways are in “good ecological condition” by 2027. You can read more here.

The Commission will look into the need to update the priority substances and the groundwater annexes (the so-called ‘daughter directives’).

NIS Directive:  Commission launches revision process

As announced in its revised 2020 work programme, the Commission launched the revision of the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS) with the publication of the Roadmap.

Water Reuse Regulation: entry into force

On 5 June 2020, the Water Reuse regulation was published on the Official Journal, starting the countdown to the implementation and deadline. The regulation shall apply from 26 June 2023. You can find the text here.

Green Deal: Parliament to prepare reaction to the Farm-2-Fork Strategy

The European Parliament will prepare an own initiative report in reaction to the Farm-to-Farm Strategy published by the Commission in May 2020. EurEau will provide input to this process. Generally, the strategy contains a number of positive elements to protect our water resources.

Our reaction to the F2F Strategy is here.

Report: Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The Commission adopted a report on the first implementation cycle of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive this month. This report, required by Article 20 of the directive, shows that while the EU’s framework for marine environmental protection is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious worldwide, it needs to be beefed up to be able to tackle predominant pressures such as overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices, plastic litter, excess nutrients, underwater noise and others types of pollution.

You will find the report and its three annexes here.

The European Environment Agency has also published its Marine Messages II, which can also be accessed here.

Drinking Water Directive: update

Translations are ongoing on the DWD. Once this is completed, there will be a second reading in the European Parliament, with a vote scheduled for November and possible entry into force in December 2020.

Sewage Sludge Directive: evaluation

On 16 June, the European Commission announced that the sewage sludge directive would be revised. 

EPCIP: Commission publishes Inception Impact Assessment

The Commission published its Inception Impact Assessment for the Enhancement of European policy on critical infrastructure protection. It will look into options to improve the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP), including a possible revision of the ECI directive. The options include new legislative and non-legislative measures which might drinking water supply.

BWD: Impact Assessment

The Inception Impact Assessment is not ready yet and the timeline of the steps foreseen during that process is currently undergoing an internal validation.

The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

The European Parliament’s Intergroup for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Sustainable Development organised a meeting on the Chemicals Strategy on the 24 June. EurEau Secretary General Oliver Loebel represented us on the panel.

This meeting was organised by MEP Spyraki who is the EPP co-sponsor of the Motion for Resolution in the ENVI Committee.

The ENVI Committee adopted its motion for resolution on the Chemicals Strategy for sustainability, by 65 votes in favour, 1 against and 14 abstentions, on 29 June. MEPs called on the European Commission to come up with an ambitious strategy for the protection of human health and the environment, based on the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle. The outcome of the vote is available here and the compromise amendments are here.

EurEau submitted the feedback to the Chemicals strategy roadmap that can be found here.

Pharmaceuticals: Commission publishes new strategy roadmap

The Commission published its Roadmap ‘Pharmaceutical Strategy – Timely patient access to affordable medicines’.

Feedback and roadmaps: Climate Change

We submitted feedback to the Roadmap on the Climate Adaptation Strategy in advance of the 30 June deadline, available here

The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee is working on a MfR on the Climate Adaptation Strategy.

We also responded to the 2030 Climate Targets Plan, and to the public consultation on the Climate Pact.

The deadline for the Public Consultation on the adaptation strategy for climate change is 20 August.

Water legislation fitness check

The ENVE Commission of the Committee of the Regions adopted their opinion on of the fitness check of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive.

The ENVI Committee of the European Parliament is drafting a MfR on the Water Legislation fitness check.

UWWTD: Expert Group meeting

The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive Expert Group met online on 29 June. EurEau are represented by Bertrand Vallet from the Secretariat and by Jean-Pierre Silan from Belgaqua. The Commission presented the policy option content envisaged in the revision of the UWWTD.

ECJ: New ruling on intermunicipal cooperation

The ECJ made an important ruling on public procurement here, concerning cooperation between two public bodies in waste management without a prior procurement. The ECJ ruled that cooperation between contracting authorities cannot be said to exist where a contracting authority which is responsible for a task in the public interest within its territory does not itself perform the entirety of that task.

The result confirms that there are minimum requirements on public-public cooperation without procurement proceedings.


EurEau is following the Water4All partnership under Horizon Europe but there are also other interesting partnership for the Water Services: Agro-ecology living labs and research infrastructures, Rescuing biodiversity, Chemical risk assessment or Smart cities.

EurEau priorities for innovation is published (here).

SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring project

WWTPs across Europe have submitted samples for analysis by KWR. An online meeting on 8 June presented current initiatives taking place across Europe. The idea is to share knowledge and experience. Bertrand Vallet from the secretariat and Angel Villanueva (AEAS, Spain) are following the group.

Covid-19: Recovery and Resilience Facility

The Commission is proposing a Recovery and Resilience Facility that will offer large scale financial support for public investments and reforms that make Member States economies more resilient, and better prepared for the future. It will help Member States to address the economic and social challenges they are facing in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

The RRF is inscribed in the European Semester Framework (and not within the MFF framework). Among the various criteria that the Commission will use to assess the plans submitted by Member States to get grants, two criteria will require a high score: green transition or digital transformation should be awarded an A in the ranking. There is an opportunity for national associations to convince national governments to prioritise the investments in water infrastructure in their national plans.

More about the Commission proposal can be found here and here

European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) workshop; Task Force on Water

On 16 June, Bertrand presented our Briefing Note on Energy to the Task Force on Water of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Council that reflects on the water and energy nexus in the context of climate change. 

EUROSTAT report on the SGDs in Europe

A new EUROSTAT report evaluates Europe’s progress towards the goals including Goal 6 for ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and ending open defecation. Overall, the assessment is quite positive. You can read more here.

All Policies for a Healthy Europe (AP4HE)
The Environment Working Group of the platform All Policies for a Healthy Europe organised a roundtable on the Zero Pollution Ambition hosted by MEP Pietikainen (EPP/Finland) on 29 June. MEP Paulus (Greens/Germany) and MEP Cerdas (S&D/Portugal) took part in the discussions. The keynote speech was delivered by former health Commissioner Andriukaitis who highlighted that drinking water is both an environmental and health matter. EurEau is a knowledge partner in this platform.

Copernicus project

The European Union's Earth Observation Programme – Copernicus – offers services in atmosphere monitoring, marine environment monitoring, land monitoring, climate change, emergency management and security – all for free.

The information services offered are based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data.

The Programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with the EU Member States and various associations and agencies.

For a deeper understanding on how this data can be used, check out various case studies on the Copernicus website. There are also cases for water, like this one on the Screening methods for Water data InFormaTion in support to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

July 2020 -Coordinating, Implementing and Financing National Climate and Water Policy Frameworks; various dates in July, online. Learn more.

13-14 July 2020 - Workshop on iron phosphate chemistry applied to phosphorus stewardship; webinar - Themes will cover: Iron phosphorus interactions in sediments, in soils and engineered systems, Strategies for phosphorus release and P-recovery from iron phosphates, Iron - phosphate interactions in agriculture and Markets for recovered iron phosphate materials.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1-3 September 2020 – Online. IWA - Nutrient Recovery & Removal. The top researchers and innovative experts of nutrient recovery and removal are joining forces on-line for IWA’s Nutrient Recovery & Removal virtual conference organised by Aalto University and HSY. More.

30 November -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.


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

1-4 December 2020 – International Conference: Water, Megacities and Global Change. More.

9-14 May 2021- IWA World water Congress.

17-20 May 2021 – LuWQ2021, 5th International Interdisciplinary Conference on LAND USE AND WATER QUALITY: Agriculture and the Environment. More.

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

31 May – 2 June 2021 - (postponed from 15-16 June 2020) European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC4) and PERM, Vienna, Austria

More… https://www.phosphorusplatform.eu/espc4

11-13 August 2021 - Water Safety Conference in Norway. More.

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