Campaigning to save the EU water law

WWF, together with more than 130 environmental groups, campaigned tirelessly for two years to save the EU's strong water law, mobilising hundreds of thousands of citizens and scientists along the way.

The #ProtectWater campaign was launched in 2018 to defend the law that protects all of the EU’s water resources - the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The European Commission had just launched an independent evaluation of the WFD, a process each piece of EU legislation undergoes to evaluate whether it is still relevant and “fit for purpose”. Some industry groups and Member States saw this as an opportunity to weaken the law’s strong elements. Urgent action was needed.

Long story short: We did it! On 22 June 2020, the EU’s Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, confirmed that the WFD would not be opened up for revision, underscoring the need to focus on supporting implementation and enforcement "without changing the directive". The decision came six months after the law was concluded to be “fit-for-purpose”, following the thorough two-year evaluation. 

This could not have been achieved without the support of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens and scientists, who used the #ProtectWater campaign to take a stand for the WFD. Your voices were heard. Your say had an impact. 

Next stop: 100% healthy freshwater ecosystems!

Key campaign milestones

What citizens have to say

Listen to what EU citizens and scientists had to say to their governments ahead of a critical meeting on EU Environment Ministers.


Claire Baffert
Senior EU Policy Officer, Water
+32 492 73 10 92
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