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EurEau newsletter - edition 53 - December 2020

EurEau News

Season’s greeting from all the EurEau team

We wish you all a wonderful holiday season with new and old traditions to celebrate the end of the year. And here is to hope; hope that 2021 will be positively different, hope that we will be able to hug our friends and family, travel once more, meet each other in person, and that we will be healthy and happy.

From President Claudia and Oliver, Louise, Carla, Bertrand and Caroline in the Secretariat


EU news

Legislative developments

Water legislation

Drinking Water Directive update: adopted

The European Parliament finally approved the text of the new Drinking Water Directive in its second reading, confirming the Council position.

The entry into force is foreseen for January 2021. The transposition time will be 24 months.


Sewage Sludge Directive: public consultation

The public consultation on the SSD is open. The deadline to respond to the Commission is 5 March 2021.  


Water and agriculture

Common Agricultural Policy: legislators agree transitional arrangements

Due to the lengthy legislative process, the new CAP cannot enter into force in 2021, as planned. The Commission, therefore, proposed transitional arrangements during which the existing CAP rules continue to apply before the new rules enter into force. The European Parliament and the EU Council have provisionally fixed that transitional period at two years. In parallel, they agreed to spend €8 billion on agriculture out of the EU’s Recovery Fund.

The Trilogue for the next CAP started last month. One goal of the new CAP is help tackle climate change and the sustainable management of natural resources.


Plant Protection Products regulation: EU Ombudsman criticises pesticide approval procedure

The EU Ombudsman concluded that the current procedures to approve active substances in pesticides raise concern and that the Commission should not approve such substances unless the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gives its green light.

Moreover, the Ombudsman asks for more transparency in the approval process and a more restrictive use of the ‘confirmatory data procedure’ (approval before all data are submitted).


Water and the environment

Water Legislation: Motion for Resolution

The European Parliament held a joint discussion on water legislation and adopted a resolution on the Water Legislation (Groundwater Directive, Environmental Quality Standards Directive and the Water Framework Directive).

We are very satisfied with the main elements of the text that address the protection of water resources especially those used for the production of drinking water, the polluter pays principle and the cost recovery principle. 

The adopted resolution is available here. Some political groups had proposed Amendments to the text (here). The vote results are available here.


REACH restriction for microplastics: ECHA finalises assessment

The two competent ECHA committees, the Committee for Risk Assessment and the Committee for Socio-economic Analysis concluded that a REACH restriction for intentionally added microplastics is the most appropriate way to prevent the release of 500 000 tonnes of microplastics into the environment over 20 years. ECHA’s restriction proposal will form the basis for a legislative proposal to be prepared by the European Commission.


Energy directives: public consultations launched

The Commission launched the public consultations on the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive.


Taxonomy: draft regulation adopted

The European Commission adopted a draft delegated act (regulation) containing criteria for sustainable investments in order to guide investors, following the adoption of the Taxonomy Regulation earlier this year. These criteria may have a huge impact on the water sector since they will be used by the EU institutions and bodies, and possibly by IFIs (Independent Fiscal Institutions), in the future and may determine which investments are considered sustainable in the framework of the Recovery Plans at national level.

We submitted our feedback.


Zero Pollution action plan

The deadline for the public consultation is 10 February.


Water as an essential service

NIS Directive: new cyber security law extended to waste water services

The proposed revised Directive on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union (NIS-2 Directive) will not only cover drinking water suppliers according to the definition in the DWD, but be extended to waste water operators as defined in the UWWTD. This also means that not only large operators will have to comply, implement a cyber risk management approach and address the cybersecurity risks of supply chains.

Directive on Critical Entities: new directive to protect critical assets  

The proposed Directive on the resilience of critical entities replaces and extents the ECI directive and includes drinking water and waste water services in its scope. The operators concerns will have to be assessed at least every four years all relevant risks that may disrupt their operations, take appropriate counter–measures and notify incidents. They may submit requests for background checks on persons.


EU Strategies

Farm-to-Fork Strategy: Parliament prepare a resolution

The European Parliament started its work on an own initiative report on the Commission’s Farm-to-Fork strategy, which aims to create a sustainable food value chain. The Committees for Environment and Agriculture will jointly prepare the text based on enhanced cooperation. The deadline for amendments is 15 January 2021.

EurEau’s position on this strategy is available here.


Soil Strategy: input submitted

We submitted input to the roadmap. The strategy is part of the EU 2030 biodiversity strategy, this initiative will update the current strategy to address soil degradation and preserve land resources. The goals are to: protect soil fertility; reduce erosion and sealing; and increase organic matter. EurEau answer can be found here.


Climate Adaptation Strategy: Motion for Resolution

The Climate Adaptation Strategy resolution was adopted by the European Parliament. The final text is available.

We believe that the European Parliament successfully managed to convey the focus on the protection of water resources.  


Other news


The Water4All partnership is running a survey on its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for which our publication on the Research needs for Water Services (here) has been a source of inspiration. In order to express your views on the SRIA you can access the survey here. The deadline is 11 January 23h59.


Tom Leahy voted in as President Elect of the Irish Academy of Engineering

The Chairperson of the EurEau Committee on Drinking Water, Tom Leahy, was voted in as President Elect of the Irish Academy of Engineering. More.


Communications news

Human right to sanitation: EurEau members call on EU to act

Several national water associations and water companies across Europe, including FP2E and AEAS called on the European institutions to enshrine the human right to sanitation in their legislation. The upcoming revision of the UWWTD is an ideal opportunity to do this. Read more.


Denmark’s water in figures

The DANVA publication, Water in Figures 2020, is now available.


aqua3S project

The aqua3S project steps in to combine novel technologies in water safety and security, aiming to standardize existing sensor technologies. Read more.



9-14 May 2021- IWA World water Congress in Copenhagen.

17-20 May 2021 – LuWQ2021, 5th International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land use and water quality: Agriculture and the Environment. More.

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

Postponed to June 2022 - from August 2021 - Water Safety Conference in Norway. More.

 2022 – CEOCOR; hosted by ÖVGW in Vienna, Austria. (postponed from 2021).

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