Roadmap on the Fitness Check of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive has just been published
The foreseen fitness check evaluates the WFD as foreseen in Articles 19(2) of this Directive and
will cover also two Directives directly linked to the WFD: the Groundwater Directive
(2006/118/EC) and the Environmental Quality Standards Directive (2008/105/EC), the so-called
"daughter-directives" of the WFD. It will also include the Floods Directive (FD, 2007/60/EC),
which has been the catalyst for introducing a risk management approach in the dealings of
Member States with significant floods across the EU.
The fitness Check will look at the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added
value of the Water Framework Directive (and its 'daughters') and the Floods Directive. This will
include an assessment of the potential for regulatory simplification and burden reduction. A
quantitative assessment of actual costs and benefits including impacts on business will be
carried out in as far as possible. The fitness check may identify areas where simplifications or
improvements to the legislation or its implementation could be possible and therefore may
serve as the basis for further action by the European Commission.
The fitness check will cover the performance of these key directives in all Member States and
over the whole lifespan of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive to date,
meaning the two cycles of RBMPs and Programmes of Measures and the first cycle of FRMPs.
The Commission will publish in early 2018 implementation reports on these management
plans, which will be the starting point of this fitness check. These implementation reports will
show the current status in European water bodies and the actions taken by Member States to
achieve those objectives. They will point out the main shortcomings identified in the WFD and
FD implementation, but will also highlight the progress made in the different areas since the
first cycle of RBMPs. They will also contribute to understand the developments that the
Directives have brought about to contribute to a sound water management in Member States
and at EU level.