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Parliamentary questions
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24 June 2016
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-004707/2016

In response to Question E-003366/10(1), the Commission stated that the use of Article 9(4) of the Water Framework Directive (WFD)(2) is subject to strict conditions. A Member State wishing to avail of this flexibility provision needed to take a decision in accordance with established practices not to apply the provisions of Article 9(1), second sentence, and that such a decision should not compromise the purposes and the achievement of the objectives of the directive. The reasons for the decision needed to be reported in the river basin management plans due by 22 December 2009.

Ireland adopted its river basin management plans in July 2010. There is no record of a decision in those plans not to apply the provisions of Article 9(1).

On the contrary, in the said plans, Ireland made a clear commitment to set up water charges to comply with the provisions of Article 9(1). Ireland subsequently applied water charges and the Commission considers that the directive does not provide for a situation whereby it can revert to any previous practice.

(2)OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.

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