The EU Water Framework Directive: Challenges for institutional implementation

  • Erwin F.L.M. de Bruin
  • Frank G.W. Jaspers
  • Joyeeta Gupta
Part of the Environmental Science book series (ENVSCIENCE)


This chapter undertakes a limited analysis of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and focuses in particular on some of the implementation challenges. It focuses on how the WFD aims to meet the goal of integrated water resource management. It then examines some of the challenges of implementing the Directive in a EU member state with advanced water policies (The Netherlands) and a potential EU member state (Turkey). It concludes that in the Netherlands the WFD essentially has led to more coordination among water management organisations. The establishment of an extra bureaucratic layer whose job is to ensure that integration takes place has facilitated this. In the case of Turkey, the difficulty is to find a way to actually differentiate responsibilities between different authorities and to have a more coherent water management system that challenges the current hierarchical power structure. This chapter then examines the impact of the WFD on coastal zones and concludes that the WFD has limited authority over the coastal zones. This is problematic because river flows do not simply end at an arbitrary distance from the coast and because there appears to be no real way of communicating with other instruments that deal with coasts and with the seas and oceans. On the other hand, the European Union's Coastal Zone Management initiatives will try and bridge the gap between the land, river systems, the coasts and the seas, and will try and link up with all the relevant EU regulations. The paper concludes that it would appear that the EU is moving steadily towards a democratic system of managing the waters and coasts of the region and that only time will tell how easy or difficult it is to harmonise policies in countries and regimes with vastly different histories and institutions.


River Basin Coastal Zone Water Framework Directive Integrate Water Resource Management Coastal Zone Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erwin F.L.M. de Bruin
  • Frank G.W. Jaspers
  • Joyeeta Gupta

There are no affiliations available

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