Water pollution and Citizenship: Potamos River


The Water Framework Directive creates a legal framework for the protection and restoration of clean waters across the European Union (the official title is Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy). The Directive, which entered into force in December 2000, provides common principles, approaches and requirements for water management in the European Union; it also leaves broad leeway for Member State individual approaches. The Directive addresses EU surface waters, including coastal waters, as well as groundwater. By 2015, Member States are to achieve “good water status”, a term that incorporates both chemical parameters (i.e. low pollution levels) as well as ecological ones (healthy ecosystems).
Under the Directive, water management is based on River Basins. EU Member States set up river basin districts and designate the administrative unit for each district: in many Member States, these are water councils. Where a river basin includes more than one Member State or crosses from the EU to neighboring countries, the Directive calls for the creation of an international river basin district. Both national and international districts should prepare management plans by 2009, and these provide a form of IWRM planning.
However, as Thanos Kafkalidis explained in Gijon, sometimes it is better to take individual and direct action; even if the endeavour would take long. You can see his presentation here

Buying social: Guidelines for Public Procurement

Memorial Mosaic to the Homeless

Memorial Mosaic to the Homeless (Photo credit: caledonianpark)

A guide on taking account of social considerations in public procurement.
The new guide is a very concrete tool to help public authorities to buy goods and services in a socially responsible way in line with EU rules. It also highlights the contribution public procurement can make to stimulate greater social inclusion.
Public procurement represents 17% of the GDP of EU Member States. While preserving competition and transparency, it may be used in a way to steer the market in a more socially responsible direction and thus contribute more generally to sustainable development.

The guide will allow public purchasers to integrate with greater confidence social considerations in public procurement, while ensuring equal access to all European interested bidders and guaranteeing an efficient use of public money. The exercise is in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy and the EU goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The document is illustrated by a number of practical examples covering a broad range of social issues, such as promoting equal chances and employment opportunities, improving labour conditions, social inclusion of vulnerable persons, such as disabled persons, compliance in substance with the provisions of the fundamental ILO conventions, etc.
The Commission also published today another guide to help helps public authorities, especially at local level, to provide high quality and efficient services in line with the EU rules.