The #ProtectWater campaign was launched in 2018 to defend the law that protects all of the EU’s water resources - the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The European Commission had just launched an independent evaluation of the WFD, a process each piece of EU legislation undergoes to evaluate whether it is still relevant and “fit for purpose”. Some industry groups and Member States saw this as an opportunity to weaken the law’s strong elements. Urgent action was needed.
Long story short: We did it! On 22 June 2020, the EU’s Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, confirmed that the WFD would not be opened up for revision, underscoring the need to focus on supporting implementation and enforcement "without changing the directive". The decision came six months after the law was concluded to be “fit-for-purpose”, following the thorough two-year evaluation.
This could not have been achieved without the support of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens and scientists, who used the #ProtectWater campaign to take a stand for the WFD. Your voices were heard. Your say had an impact.
Next stop: 100% healthy freshwater ecosystems!
Victory for #ProtectWater!
The EU’s Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, finally declares that the Water Framework Directive will not be opened up for revision, confirming the need to focus on supporting implementation and enforcement "without changing the directive".
Support from Member States!
During an exchange of views on the fitness check of EU water legislation, a majority of EU Member States expressed support for the fitness check conclusions on the WFD, distancing themselves from fierce lobbying from industry to weaken the law.
WFD is fit for purpose!
The Commission publishes the conclusions of its two-year independent review, which state that the WFD is fit for purpose. The process included a public consultation, which 375,000 citizens used to call for the law to stay in its current form.
5,500+ scientists support WFD
5,500+ scientists from across the EU to sent a letter to the European Commission, calling for the WFD to be maintained in its current form and better enforced in order to halt and reverse the decline in freshwater biodiversity.
375,000+ citizens support WFD
375,386 citizens call on the European Commission to defend the WFD through the #ProtectWater campaign, making the EU’s public consultation on the legislation one of the largest ever in the history of the European Union.
New analysis on industry positions
WWF & partners publish analysis outlining the positions of various industry groups on the WFD.
Jumping for Europe's rivers
The European Rivers Network and WWF organise the biggest Big Jump ever, with 160 events taking place across 18 European countries.
What citizens have to say
EU Freshwater Campaigner
+32 484 49 43 54
Senior Communications Officer, Water
+32 471 05 25 11
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