WaA Call for papers
WFD + 20: Assessing the European Water Framework Directive

The European Water Framework Directive, issued in 2000, is a major landmark in the history of European water policy. It has introduced in national legislation a number of principles and priorities that have the potential to substantially revise the supply-oriented and state-centred ‘business as usual’ of water resource development. The WFD has, in particular, incorporated some of the policy ideas promoted in the 1990s, such as full cost recovery and resource pricing, the participation of stakeholders or the environmental health of ‘water bodies’. It has also mainstreamed other tenets of IWRM such as water management at the basin scale (or ‘district’) and the polluter-pays principle.

While the inclusion of the WFD into national strategies and legislation together with the implementation of the first measures have taken close to a decade, a twenty-year period provides an ideal time span to engage in a comprehensive assessment of what the WFD has changed in terms of legislation, practices, representations and results on the ground. This special issue aims at taking stock of the progress, difficulties and illusions accompanying the implementation of the WFD by EU member states. We welcome in particular papers that unpack policy processes and present longitudinal studies of policy changes, whether in a specific country or comparatively, across countries. Hindsight papers analysing the formation phase of the WFD (ideologies, interest groups, coalitions, procedures, differences between countries, etc) are also welcome. Key questions include:
How has the WFD been translated/incorporated into the legislation and practices of a particular country?

  • How have the main instruments and principles (river basin management, participation, water pricing, cost recovery, etc) been promoted, implemented and with what results?
  • What are the gaps that have appeared between principles and implementation and how they have been dealt with (politics of exemption, circumvention of rules, etc)
  • Contesting the WFD: which groups have supported or fought against the WFD’s principles and implementation, why and how?
  • What improvements in terms of water quality and nonpoint source pollution have been recorded and through which means have they been achieved?
  • How has WFD implementation differed between EU member states?
  • What steps have been taken to revise the WFD and how far do they represent a shift in emphasis?
  • How have WFD-oriented water policies impacted and been impacted by spatial planning?
  • What novel forms of integration and competition between agricultural, water, and environmental policies have emerged in implementing the WFD?
  • How have the metrics and politics of objective-setting, compliance and ‘success’ shaped the implementation process?
  • In what ways has the WFD acted as a model for water resources management globally? 

Gabrielle Bouleau (IRSTEA, France)
Timothy Moss (Humboldt University, Berlin)
José Albiac (Department of Agricultural Economics, CITA, Spain)
Lenka Slavíkova (University of Economics, Prague)
Call for paper: May, 15 2019
Deadline for abstracts: July, 10
Decision on abstracts: July, 30
Deadline for full submissions: December, 31
Review process: until May, 30 2020
Publication: October, 1st  2020

Abstracts should be around 350-500 words. Submissions should be policy-oriented and not technical in scope.