Commission calls on Member States to prioritise water in new RDPs

Member States need to demonstrate greater ambition to use their new rural development programmes (RDPs) to better support the implementation of the EU’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives according to Commission officials. Speaking at the EU’s WFD and Agriculture Expert Group – attended by IFOAM EU – in Belfast on 6 October, Commission officials pointed to the lack of prioritisation for water in the Member States and region’s draft RDPs. This is despite the fact that water is a clear priority in the new rural development regulation. Not only do many of the draft RDPs fail to adequately address the implementation of WFD objectives, but in some cases proposed measures – related to issues such as irrigation, flood defences and land consolidation – could have a detrimental effect on the development of sustainable water management practices and risk making the WFD even more difficult to implement.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Agriculture Expert Group is coordinated by the DG Environment – Water Unit under the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS). The aim is to provide a forum to exchange on WFD implementation among Member States representatives and civil society groups working on water and agriculture in the context of meeting of the WFD objectives.

IFOAM EU remains committed to supporting the implementation of the WFD including the utilisation of relevant RDP measures such as conversion to and maintenance of organic farming and agri-environment climate practices as well as knowledge transfer and advisory services. For further information see our water factsheet on organic approaches to Rural Development Policy.

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