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Perspectives and actions to improve water quality in European Union Member States

Guiseppe Sgorbati and Nicoletta Dotti

elni Review 2015, pp. 10-16.

Although the European rules on water, which are mainly based on the Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/EC), have been in force for many years, the quality of waters in Europe still have huge room for improvement before they can fulfil the objectives set by the WFD and by its “daughters Directive”. Two questions are key here: Are the European rules adequate for this challenging goal? If yes, are the rules applied homogeneously and correctly in European Union Countries or do many issues remain which prevent their full implementation?
This article provides a broad overview of water issues in Europe, focusing on the level of fulfillment of requisites from EU legislation and the level of its implementation in Member States. This point of view has been adopted because an uneven implementation of EU laws prevents several European citizens from fulfillment of their right to a healthy environment and a good water resource quality and, furthermore, endangers the level playing field across Europe, from a social and economic point of view.

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