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Transboundary Water Governance in the European Union

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

Abstract

Since the 1970s the EU has adopted a large number of legislative acts and strategic documents relating to freshwaters that, among others, cover transboundary cooperation questions extensively. The EU is also party to a number of international agreements, most prominently the UNECE Water Convention, that define substantive and procedural obligations for the joint management and protection of shared river basins. In addition, EU member states and neighbouring countries concluded basin-specific agreements for most of the continent’s numerous international watercourses and lakes. These basin arrangements are further supplemented by a comprehensive web of bilateral water treaties. Such European model of multi-layered transboundary water governance has been universally praised as the most comprehensive, sophisticated and progressive transnational water regime in the world. Yet, it also suffers from a number of important shortcomings such as the dominance of procedural requirements, missing or weak sanctions, the almost complete ignorance of water quantity considerations or the insufficient collaboration between the UNECE and the EU’s proper water policy centres.

Keywords

Water law European union Basin treaties 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Water ScienceUniversity of Public ServiceBudapestHungary

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