• Gábor BaranyaiEmail author
Part of the Water Governance - Concepts, Methods, and Practice book series (WGCMP)


The various human-induced pressures of our era are leading to a massive degradation of the quality and quantity of freshwater resources worldwide. Therefore, water security in the broadest sense of the term will be one of the critical questions of development, peace and stability in the 21st century. Such changing hydrological conditions are further complicated by the geography of water: around 47% of the Earth’s surface waters lie in basins shared by at least two countries. Consequently, the bulk of world’s unfolding water crisis will have to be addressed and solved in an international context. This is particularly relevant in the case of the European Union that boasts the highest number and most complex shared river basins in the world. While the EU has developed one of the most extensive and sophisticated supranational water policy regime worldwide, its transboundary governance framework has certain structural deficiencies that may eventually give rise to significant cooperation gridlocks over shared rivers. This study provides a first critical analysis of the fitness of the EU to handle co-riparian relations at the age of the Anthropocene.


Global water crisis International river basins European Union 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Water ScienceUniversity of Public ServiceBudapestHungary

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