Tag Archives: Inland waterway

Water Protection and Management

Water protection and management

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Water protection and management


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Water protection and management

Water protection and management

Some 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by seas and oceans, and these produce almost three quarters of the oxygen we breathe. We can use directly only 1% of this water, however, and many forms of human activity put water resources under considerable pressure. Polluted water, whatever the source of the pollution, flows one way or another back into our natural surroundings – into the sea or water tables – from where it can have a harmful effect on human health and the environment. One of the most important pieces of legislation in this area is the Water Framework Directive.


  • Water protection and management (Water Framework Directive)
  • Pricing and long-term management of water
  • Flood management and evaluation
  • Droughts and water scarcity
  • Urban waste water treatment


  • Quality of drinking water
  • Bathing water quality (until 2014)
  • Bathing water quality
  • Water suitable for fish-breeding
  • Quality of shellfish waters


  • Strategy for the marine environment
  • Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage
  • Maritime safety: prevention of pollution from ships
  • Ship-source pollution and criminal penalties
  • Maritime safety: prohibition of organotin compounds on ships
  • Maritime safety: Bunkers Convention


  • European Union Strategy for Danube Region
  • Baltic Sea Strategy
  • Environment strategy for the Mediterranean
  • Strategy to improve maritime governance in the Mediterranean
  • Black Sea Synergy
  • Danube – Black Sea region

Regional convention

  • Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean
  • Helsinki Convention on the protection of the Baltic Sea
  • Helsinki Convention: trans-boundary watercourses and international lakes
  • Convention for the Protection of the Rhine
  • OSPAR Convention


  • Industrial emissions
  • Integrated pollution prevention and control (until 2013)
  • Environmental quality standards applicable to surface water
  • Protection of groundwater against pollution
  • Detergents
  • Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
  • Agricultural nitrates
  • Community strategy concerning mercury
  • Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances (until 2013)
  • Other substances: protection of groundwater



Another Normative about Water protection and management


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Agriculture > Environment

Water protection and management (Water Framework Directive)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy [See amending acts].


The European Union (EC) has established a framework for the protection of:

  • inland surface waters *;
  • groundwater *;
  • transitional waters *; and
  • and coastal waters *.

This Framework-Directive has a number of objectives, such as preventing and reducing pollution, promoting sustainable water usage, environmental protection, improving aquatic ecosystems and mitigating the effects of floods and droughts.

Its ultimate objective is to achieve “good ecological and chemical status” for all Community waters by 2015.

Administrative arrangements

Member States have to identify all the river basins * lying within their national territory and to assign them to individual river basin districts *. River basins covering the territory of more than one Member State will be assigned to an international river basin district.

Member States are to designate a competent authority for the application of the rules provided for in this Framework-Directive within each river basin district.

Identification and analysis of waters

By 2004 at the latest, each Member State shall produce:

  • an analysis of the characteristics of each river basin district;
  • a review of the impact of human activity on water;
  • an economic analysis of water use;
  • a register of areas requiring special protection;
  • a survey of all bodies of water used for abstracting water for human consumption and producing more than 10 m³ per day or serving more than 50 persons.

This analysis must be revised in 2013 and every six years thereafter.

Management plans and programmes of measures

In 2009, nine years after the Framework-Directive entered into force, management plans were produced for each river basin district, taking account of the results of the analyses and studies carried out. These plans cover the period 2009-2015. They shall be revised in 2015 and then every six years thereafter.

The management plans must be implemented in 2012. They aim to:

  • prevent deterioration, enhance and restore bodies of surface water, achieve good chemical and ecological status of such water by 2015 at the latest and to reduce pollution from discharges and emissions of hazardous substances;
  • protect, enhance and restore the status of all bodies of groundwater, prevent the pollution and deterioration of groundwater, and ensure a balance between groundwater abstraction and replenishment;
  • preserve protected areas.

The management plans for river basin districts can be complemented by more detailed management programmes and plans for a sub-basin, a sector or a particular type of water.

Temporary deterioration of bodies of water is not in breach of the requirements of this Framework-Directive if it is the result of circumstances which are exceptional or could not reasonably have been foreseen and which are due to an accident, natural causes or force majeure.

Member States shall encourage participation by all stakeholders in the implementation of this Framework-Directive, specifically with regard to the management plans for river basin districts. Projects from the management plans must be submitted to public consultation for at least 6 months.

From 2010, Member States must ensure that water pricing policies provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently and that the various economic sectors contribute to the recovery of the costs of water services, including those relating to the environment and resources.

Member States must introduce arrangements to ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties are imposed in the event of breaches of the provisions of this Framework Directive.

A list of priority substances selected from among the ones which present a significant risk to the aquatic environment has been drawn up at European level. This list is set out in Annex X to this Framework-Directive.

Key terms used in the act
  • Inland waters: all standing or flowing water on the surface of the land, and all groundwater on the landward side of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured.
  • Surface water: inland waters, except groundwater, transitional waters and coastal waters, except in respect of chemical status, for which territorial waters are also included.
  • Groundwater: all water which is below the surface of the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.
  • Transitional waters: bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partly saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows.
  • Coastal water: surface water on the landward side of a line every point of which is at a distance of one nautical mile on the seaward side from the nearest point of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured, extending where appropriate up to the outer limit of transitional waters.
  • River basin: the area of land from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, lakes into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.
  • River basin district: the area of land and sea, made up of one or more neighbouring river basins together with their associated groundwaters and coastal waters, which is identified under Article 3(1) as the main unit for management of river basins.


Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2000/60/EC



OJ L 327 of 22.12.2000

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2455/2001/EC


OJ L 331 of 15.12.2001

Directive 2008/32/EC


OJ L 81 of 20.3.2008

Directive 2009/31/EC


OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/60/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.


Annex X – List of priority substances in the field of water policy

Directive 2008/105/EC [Official Journal L 348 of 24.12.2008].

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 22 March 2007 – Towards sustainable water management in the European Union – First stage in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC [COM(2007) 128 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this report the Commission sets out the results provided by the Member States concerning the application of the Water Framework Directive. Among other things, it mentions that there is a considerable risk that several Member States will fail to meet the targets set in the Framework Directive, in particular because of the physical deterioration of aquatic ecosystems, especially as a result of overexploitation of water resources and disturbing levels of pollution from diffuse sources. The Commission also indicates that there have been problems with meeting the deadline for incorporating the Framework Directive into national law and shortcomings in the actual transposition process in some cases. However, the establishment of river basin districts and the designation of the competent national authorities seem to be well under way, although progress does still need to be made with regard to international cooperation in some instances. The Commission also indicates that there are considerable differences in the quality of the environmental and economic assessments made in respect of river basins as well as shortcomings in the economic analyses carried out. The Commission finishes by making a number of recommendations to the Member States with a view to making good the shortcomings reported, integrating sustainable management of water into other national policies and making the most of public participation, and gives advance notice of what it plans to do in future in the context of European water management policy.

Report from the Commission of 1 April 2009 published in accordance with article 18.3 of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC on programmes for monitoring of water status [COM(2009) 156 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Water Protection and Management in other Legal Encyclopedias

Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2000 – American Legal Encyclopedia

Coastal Zone Management Act Of 1972 in the American Legal Encyclopedia

Promotion of inland waterway transport NAIADES

Promotion of inland waterway transport NAIADES

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promotion of inland waterway transport NAIADES


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Promotion of inland waterway transport “NAIADES”

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 17 January 2006 on the promotion of inland waterway transport “NAIADES”: “an Integrated European Action Programme for Inland Waterway Transport” [COM(2006) 6 final – not published in the Official Journal].


In the view of the European Union, economic competitiveness depends in part on transport systems. Its goal is to achieve transition to less energy-intensive, cleaner and safer transport modes. Inland waterway transport is an ideal choice in this respect.

This communication sets out an integrated action programme, and the European Institutions, the Member States and the inland waterway sector are invited to contribute actively to its implementation.

Inland waterway transport is booming

The Commission’s European Transport White Paper sets out to achieve economic competitiveness and sustainable mobility in the medium term. The Commission considers that inland waterway transport can contribute to the sustainability of the transport system.

Inland navigation has undergone significant expansion in the last twenty years. It would also appear that inland navigation is the most environmentally-friendly mode of land transport.

The Commission believes that growth in inland navigation may lead to a reduction in transport costs, which would favour the setting up of businesses. However, employment within the navigation sector could also be developed more. In the view of the Commission, inland navigation infrastructure is not being used at full capacity.

The difficulty in this sector arises from the fragmented market structure, which is chiefly made up of SMEs and where fierce competition restricts reinvestment ability. There is also a shortage of labour and a lack of staff within businesses.

The Commission deplores the fact that transport and logistics firms and public authorities are unaware of the advantages of inland waterway transport.

The institutional framework for inland navigation in Europe is fragmented and ineffective in terms of the use of administrative resources and attention at the political level, creating a complex environment for businesses.

Aims of the Action Programme

This programme is entitled “NAIADES” (Navigation and Inland Waterway Action and Development in Europe), for a global Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) policy. This action programme focuses chiefly on five inter-dependent areas.

  • Markets. Although IWT was developed in Western Europe, the aim is to extend these inland navigation services to new growth markets such as the transport of dangerous goods, vehicles, indivisible loads, or even refuse and recycling. The Commission hopes to encourage new multimodal services, which would require close cooperation with freight forwarders, affected businesses and the ports. However, in this sector so deserving of encouragement, problems related to access to capital are restricting financing capacity. Access to capital can be improved by tax incentives, particularly for the most affected operators, namely SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). To promote the prosperity of the IWT sector, efforts must also be made to enhance and simplify the administrative and regulatory frameworks.
  • Fleet. The advantages of IWT for transport and environment policy should result in investments being channelled into the vital modernisation and development of the sector. Maintaining good performances from an environmental point of view requires the use of new technologies, and in particular research into commercially viable alternative fuels. Safety, already exemplary in IWT, could be improved further. The legal framework should be enhanced so that new technologies can be implemented more quickly.
  • Jobs and skills. There is a severe shortage of labour in the sector. The Commission hopes to attract labour by offering to improve working and social conditions through a constructive social dialogue at European level. As regards the validity of professional qualifications, the paper proposes the mutual recognition of such qualifications throughout the European Union. It is also necessary to guarantee the existence of educational establishments in the sector by adapting training to current needs.
  • Image. It would be useful from the Commission’s point of view if general awareness and knowledge of the real potential of the sector in terms of quality and reliability were improved. Promoting the sector would ideally result in the coordination of promotion activities by all the actors concerned. The European IWT promotion and development network is already in existence in some Member States. This network provides businesses with up-to-date information. The opening of promotion centres and other national focal points should make it possible to develop the network. The dissemination of such information is essential for businesses, economic and political decision-makers and the authorities in anticipating market trends. National administrations should try to make such statistics available in a more effective manner. The Commission, professional organisations and the Central Commission for navigation on the Rhine are currently drawing up a European system for the observation of the market.
  • Infrastructure. Bottlenecks affect the 36 000 km of inland waterways, restricting their use and reducing their competitiveness. Eliminating these bottlenecks is a priority in the establishment of effective and environmentally-friendly IWT. In the view of the Commission, funding opportunities could emerge in the long term on the basis of a framework for infrastructure charging for all transport modes. The programme places the emphasis on information exchanges relating to traffic management and the monitoring of dangerous goods by the regulatory authorities. River Information Services will enhance the competitiveness and safety of IWT.

The programme makes provision for a range of activities that cannot have an effect if they are not implemented in a coherent manner. Unfortunately, the organisational structure of the IWT sector is characterised a fragmentation of resources and legal provisions. The viability of the objectives established by the Commission in this action programme depends on the discussion of different options:

  • the strengthening of cooperation between the international river commissions and the European Commission as established in the area of technical requirements for vessels. However, this perpetuates the fragmentation of rules, as different legal provisions apply in a number of different geographical regions of the EU;
  • the accession of the European Commission to the Rhine and the Danube Commissions would strengthen the Community’s participation beyond its current observer status. No political agreement has been reached on this approach;
  • the creation of an intergovernmental Pan-European Inland Navigation Organisation, on the basis of a new international convention. This option would raise the political profile of IWT but would also generate an administrative burden with the addition of a new institutional layer and the harmonisation of the entire existing legal framework;
  • the development of IWT within the Community. The Community is in a position to develop this strategic and comprehensive policy for the single market. At the same time, IWT in Europe has connections with third countries (Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia), whose interest must be taken into account.


Over 35 000 km of waterways link hundred of towns and areas of industrial concentration. Since 1 January 1993, inland waterway transport has also benefited from the liberalisation of cabotage, the main effect of which has been the end of the rota system which prevented companies employing these services from having a free choice of carrier. The Commission underlines the need to implement a common transport policy that is safe, effective, competitive, conscious of social concerns and environmentally-friendly. With this aim in mind, it is adopting this communication on the promotion of inland waterway transport. Inland waterways play an important part in the transport of goods in Europe. The various measures and actions indicated in this programme will be further elaborated following deliberation in the Council and Parliament. The Commission will present, if appropriate, legislative proposals and implement the policy measures. The time frame for the implementation of the plan is the period 2006 – 2013.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 5 December 2007: “First progress report on the implementation of the NAIADES Action Programme for the promotion of inland waterway transport” [COM(2007) 770 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Since the NAIADES Action Programme was set up, the general perception of inland waterway transport has been strengthened.The Commission identifies the European legislation adopted since the Communication was adopted and undertakes to maintain the momentum created by the initiative. It intends to take action in various areas, such as:

  • financing, by setting up an innovation fund for inland waterway transport;
  • human resource issues, by adopting, for example, specific provisions on working time and professional qualification requirements;
  • the regulatory and administrative framework, in order to foster a favourable commercial environment;
  • infrastructures, by preparing an indicative development plan to improve and maintain inland waterways and internal ports, taking into account the European Port Policy and environmental requirements;
  • organisational assistance, by creating a platform of all interested stakeholders (Member States, river commissions, industry, etc.) in the shape of an IWT “think-tank”.

Council Regulation (EC) No 718/1999 of 29 March 1999 on a Community-fleet capacity policy to promote inland waterway transport [Official Journal L 90 of 2.4.1999].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 1 December 1998 – The common transport policy: “Sustainable mobility: Perspectives for the future” Commission Opinion [COM(1998) 716 final – Not published in the Official Journal].