Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Law and Politics in River Basin Management; The Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands

Version 1 : Received: 9 October 2020 / Approved: 12 October 2020 / Online: 12 October 2020 (11:41:08 CEST)

How to cite: Mostert, E. Law and Politics in River Basin Management; The Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands. Preprints 2020, 2020100230 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0230.v1). Mostert, E. Law and Politics in River Basin Management; The Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands. Preprints 2020, 2020100230 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0230.v1).

Abstract

This article discusses the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in the Netherlands and intends to show how law and politics combine in river basin management. Initially, the implementation of the WFD in the Netherlands was approached as a technical and administrative issue, handled by water quality and ecology experts, but in 2003 this approach was broken open by the agricultural sector, who were worried about stricter regulation. Subsequently, the environmental objectives of the WFD were set as low as possible and they are not used in authorising individual projects. Yet, in 2015 of the European Court of Justice determined that the environmental objectives have binding effect and that Member States have to refuse authorisation for projects that endanger the achievement of these objectives. In the future, the European Court of Justice and national courts may force the Dutch government to change its approach. They may only do so because and as long as they enjoy sufficient social and political support and function relatively independently. The article concludes that, to understand river basin management fully, one has to open up the black box of water law and become a kind of water lawyer.

Subject Areas

water framework directive; European Union; The Netherlands; water law; politics

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