• English
  • Deutsch
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
YouTube icon
Header image Ecologic

Key Descriptive Statistics on the Consideration of Water Issues in Rural Development Programmes 2014-2020

Key Descriptive Statistics on the Consideration of Water Issues in Rural Development Programmes 2014-2020

European level report

As part its on-going participation to a framework contract with the European Commission on supporting the implementation of European water policies, Ecologic Institute led an assessment of how Member States' current Rural Development Programmes (2014-2020) address agricultural pressures on water bodies and promote measures that can contribute to protect and restore the water environment, reducing flood and drought risk. The report is available for download.

The analysis presented in this report examines whether Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) fulfil minimum regulatory requirements from European water legislation, but also whether RDPs go beyond compliance and offer good practice that can help ensure waters are restored to good status objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). This report provides an EU level overview based on quantitative statistics compiled on 52 RDPs (out of 118), covering a total of 129.3 million ha of agricultural land, including 6.6 million ha of irrigated land, and 113 billion Euros of planned public spending. All MS were covered, including a selection of RDPs from MS which opted for a regional approach (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK).

Compared to the first programming period of RDPs, rural development programmes of most Member States now present an improved level of integration with water management issues. However, as the RDP assessment presented in this report shows, additional efforts are needed to optimise the contribution that RDPs can make to support the reaching of WFD good status and reduce flood risk.


Rouillard, Josselin; Maria Berglund 2017: European level report: Key descriptive statistics on the consideration of water issues in the Rural Development Programmes 2014-2020. Ecologic Institute, Fresh Thoughts: Berlin, Vienna.

Maria Berglund (Fresh Thoughts)

With Contributions from:
Paola Banfi (Milieu), Guido Schmidt (Fresh Thoughts), Thomas Dworak (Fresh Thoughts), Ruta Landgrebe (Ecologic Institute), Edi Interwies (Intersus) and Rodrigo Vidaurre (Ecologic Institute)

430 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Objective of the report
3. The SWOT analysis: characterisation of the RDP region and pressure assessment
3.1 Background
3.2 Do RDPs use information from WFD implementation?
3.3 Are the main agricultural pressures on the water environment identified?
3.4 Key messages
4. RDPs strategy: selected priorities and measures
4.1 Background
4.2 Is there a strategic linkage between RDP and WFD objectives?
4.3 Which measure types were selected?
4.4 Key messages
5. RDP measures: design and targeting
5.1 Background
5.2 Which measures are funded to tackle water pressures?
5.3 Are measures targeted to support WFD and FD implementation?
5.4 Are there measures that may maintain and or increase agricultural pressures on water bodies?
5.5 Do RDPs fulfil the ex-ante conditionality 5.2?
5.6 Key messages
6. Indicator plan and RDP budget
6.1 Background
6.2 How ambitious are the RDPs with regards to environmental and water objectives?
6.3 Which measures under Priority 4 are most funded?
6.4 Do RDPs propose additional indicators to measure progress on water issues?
6.5 Key messages
7. Conclusions
8. References

Water, Flood, EU policy, Agriculture, Rural Development, Common Agriculture Policy, CAP, Europe, policy analysis