Treatment of a EU Directive
This book with contributions from Ecologic analyses the implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive in several EU Member States. The compliance of the Directive, its technological impacts and national policies are crucial to the comparative study.
This book about the implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive is based on the Technology and Environmental Policy (TEP) research project for the Fourth Framework Programme of DG XII of the European Commission which analyses the implementation of three EU environmental Directives and the compliance responses. The directives studied in the TEP project are: the Air Framework Directive (84/360/EEC) in France, Italy and the UK; the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC) and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK and national paper and pulp policies in Finland, Sweden and France.
The principal objectives of this collaborative project are:
- To assess the technological impact of existing Directives and national policies of the activities controlled by the Directive, and to compare the outputs from the implementation of these Directives and national policies with the stated objectives of the Directives;
- To understand how the institutional framework and organisational networks, in Member States, interact during the implementation of EU Directives down to the site-level;
- To establish the link between these implementation processes and the technological impact of the Directive and national policies; and
- To recommend good implementation practice and how future Directives might be drafted in a way which improves their effectiveness and efficiency with respect to promoting cleaner technologies.
The study of the Urban Waste Water Directive came to the conclusion that whilst there is much criticism of rigid Directives, leading to a call for flexible Directives and the devolution of regulatory powers to the level of Member States, it also found that in a number of instances decentralised actors failed to make the right choices from a Member State point of view. This suggests that the devolution of power in the name of subsidiarity should be complemented by mechanisms of knowledge dissemination, for dealing with the blindness of actors to alternative technological and organisational solutions.
The authors put forth the hope that the new Water framework Directive will promote better choices but that this will depend on the information dissemination mechanism and institutional reforms in the water sector.
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