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Environment: Iceland and Liechtenstein fail to implement the Water Framework Directive


The Authority today sent a final warning to Iceland and to Liechtenstein for their failure to implement the Water Framework Directive[1].

The Directive should have been implemented into national law by 1 May 2009.

Both Iceland and Liechtenstein have started work on the concrete steps necessary to reach the objectives of the Directive. However, they still have not implemented the Directive into their national law.

Issuing this final warning, a reasoned opinion, is the second stage in infringement proceedings. A letter of formal notice was issued to both States in September 2009. The Authority can bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Iceland and Liechtenstein fail to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.

The purpose of the Water Framework Directive is to set out a framework for national water policies in order to have cleaner rivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters across Europe. It sets out objectives for the quality of water (ecological status, quantitative status, chemical status and protected area objectives). On the basis of this Directive, States are required to prepare river basin management plans which set out how the water quality standards will be reached within set deadlines.


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Raphaël Meyer
Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 44


[1] Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.

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