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Parliamentary questions
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29 July 2015
E-008966/2015(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-008966/2015

The ‘one-out all-out’ principle is a key principle that reflects the Water Framework Directive (WFD(1)) integrated approach for the protection of water resources and associated aquatic ecosystems. Quality elements comprised in the definition of ecological status provide a holistic picture of the health of the aquatic environment. The overall status would only be ‘good’ if all the elements comprised are at least considered ‘good’. This ensures that all pressures capable of degrading the water status are addressed and is a guarantee of the environmental integrity of the objectives of the directive. While respecting this principle in assessing the overall status of water bodies, many Member States, including the Netherlands, are communicating the progress achieved towards ‘good’ status by means of additional indicators at individual quality element level(2). The Commission is also working with Member States in the development of similar indicators at EU level for the second River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) due in December 2015.

The WFD provides for its review by 2019, taking into account the results of the second RBMPs.

The proper implementation of the Nitrates Directive(3), which is a basic measure under the WFD, is necessary for the achievement of the WFD objectives. However, in many cases this will not be sufficient and additional measures will have to be taken by Member States to ensure that the WFD objectives are reached.

(1)Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23.10.2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1‐73.
(2)See for example the draft River Basin Management Plan for the Dutch part of the Rhine International River Basin District, http://www.platformparticipatie.nl/Images/5.%20Ontwerp-SGBP_Rijn_tcm318-361776.pdf p. 27-29.
(3)Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12.12.1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources, OJ L 375, 31.12.1991, p. 1‐8.

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