Hellenic-Bulgarian Cooperation on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses. The EC Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60
Friday 5 December 2003
The present Hellenic-Bulgarian research project (Sofia – Athens, 2003) deals with transboundary cooperation between Greece and Bulgaria for promoting sustainable water management, by taking particularly into account the relevant provisions of the EC Water Framework Directive 2000/60, one of the most important pieces of legislation that the EU has adopted in recent times. The project has been financed by the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the framework of the Hellenic International Development Cooperation (HELLENIC AID).
Directive 2000/60 emphasizes that water is not a commercial product but, rather, a heritage, which must be protected, defended and treated as such. Good water quality will contribute to securing the drinking water supply for the population. Common principles are needed in order to coordinate Member States’ and Accession Countries’ efforts to improve the protection of their waters, aquatic ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands directly depending on them, to promote sustainable water use and to contribute to the control of transboundary water problems.
Particularly as regards transboundary water cooperation, the Directive 2000/60 emphasizes that within a river basin where use of water may have transboundary effects, the requirements for the achievement of the environmental objectives established under the Directive, and in particular all programmes of measures, should be coordinated for the whole of the river basin district. For river basins extending beyond the boundaries of the Community, Member States should endeavour to ensure the appropriate coordination with the relevant non-member States. In other words, the Directive aims to contribute to the implementation of international conventions on water protection and management, notably the UN/ECE Convention on the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes.
From this point of view, the success of the transboundary component of the Directive relies on close cooperation and coherent action at all levels, as well as on information, consultation and involvement of the public, including users. Within the framework of the present Hellenic-Bulgarian project, legal, administrative, environmental protection and sustainable development issues of contemporary water policy are studied and analyzed, with the aim to contribute to the development of an integrated water policy in a bilateral context.
As the two countries have not only a direct interest but also an obligation to protect and use their water resources in a sustainable way, the project can be proved very useful to them. Indeed, if properly implemented, the Directive 2000/60 can bring substantial gains to both countries, from a development, social and ecological point of view. The two countries have now the opportunity to apply the provisions of the Directive 2000/60 in their transboundary water-related, environmental protection and sustainable development relations. By developing new forms of bilateral institutional, legal, environmental and technical cooperation, in a spirit of inter-european partnership, they could actually break new ground in the field of sustainable development policy in the region of Southeastern Europe. This policy can attract financing institutions, investors and corporations that have an interest in promoting or implementing sustainable development projects.
Contributions open a promising field of bilateral cooperation. It is up to the environmental administrations of both countries to take full advantage of it, in order to facilitate and modernize their water-related transboundary cooperation. Thus, the governments of both countries could overcome a tradition of rather ineffective cooperation. The Water Framework Directive and its implementation gives the unique chance and impetus for Greece as an EU Member State and Bulgaria as Accession country and future Member State to develop a new partnership for transboundary water resources management, based on new principles, approaches and objectives to the benefit of both parties and the environment.
CVs comprise the profile of the scientific experts participating in the project.
CONTRIBUTIONS contain the experts’ research papers. (A practical guide for interpreting and implementing the EC directive 2000/60 at transboundary level).
DOCUMENTS list environmental treaties, EC directives, decisions and communications.
The views expressed in the individual contributions are strictly personal and do not reflect those of the Institutions, Organs or NGOs, with whom the authors cooperate or by whom they are employed.
SCIENTIFIC TEAM – CVs
- THE WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE WITHIN THE EU POLICY AND LEGISLATION FOR TRANSBOUNDARY WATERS COORDINATION, Dr. G. Karipsiades
- INTERNATIONAL LAW, THE EC DIRECTIVE 2000/60 AND THE PROTECTION AND USE OF TRANSBOUNDARY WATERCOURSES, Dr. P. Patronos
- IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE WFD 2000/60/EC IN CONJUNCTION WITH RELEVANT PROVISIONS OF OTHER DIRECTIVES AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS, Dr. V. Roumeliotou
- HELLENIC-BULGARIAN BILATERAL AGREEMENTS FOR THE PROTECTION AND USE OF TRANSBOUNDARY WATERCOURSES, M. Mousmouti
- THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT OF WATERS IN GREECE. THE NEW LAW FOR THE TRANSPOSITION OF DIRECTIVE 2000/60 INTO NATIONAL LEGISLATION, M. Florou
- BULGARIAN EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR TRANSBOUNDARY RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT (DANUBE RIVER BASIN CASE STUDY), Dr. I. Natchkov
- ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICES FOR WATER PROTECTION AND USE IN BULGARIA. SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF WATER PROTECTION AND USE IN BULGARIA, M. Stoimenova
- FINANCING INSTITUTIONS AND MECHANISMS FOR PROMOTING TRANSBOUNDARY WATER PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABLE USE, M. Yaneva – M. Stoimenova
- PROPOSAL FOR A HELLENIC-BULGARIAN RIVER BASIN AGREEMENT ON INTEGRATED PROTECTION AND USE OF TRANSBOUNDARY WATERCOURSES (Nestos-Mesta, Evros-Maritsa, Strymon-Struma)
- COM/2000/0477 final. Communication on pricing policies for enhancing the sustainability of water resources
- Directive 91/692/EEC. Reports on the implementation of certain Directives relating to the environment
- Directive 80/68/EEC. Protection of groundwater against pollution caused by certain dangerous substances
- Directive 79/869/EEC. Sampling and analysis of surface water intended for the abstraction of drinking water
- Directive 76/464/EEC. Pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment
- UN-ECE 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes