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Johannes Graupner

EU Nitrate Directive: correct legislation, but inadequate implementation

IGB researchers provide feedback in the EU consultation
In their analysis, the IGB researchers emphasise that the Nitrate Directive is the right framework legislation from a scientific point of view, but that the existing problems are mainly due to the lack of practical implementation in the Member States - a parallel to other EU legislation such as the Water Framework Directive. A possible opening and revision of the Nitrates Directive should not, however, lead to a further softening of the limit values and regulations, but rather strengthen them and promote their practical implementation.

Overall, nitrogen emissions from agriculture into Europe's aquatic ecosystems are still far too high and have already severely impaired most inland waters, according to the researchers. There is still an urgent need to reduce nutrient emissions, as they pose a major threat to aquatic ecosystems, their biodiversity and thus also their ecosystem services. The latter are an indispensable basis for our own lives, such as the self-purification capacity and provision of clean drinking water, a stable landscape water balance, natural flood protection, cooling effect, fisheries resources and recreational areas. Overall, a more sustainable nitrate management should be seen as a key public task and service of general interest by both European policymakers and EU Member States.

The IGB feedback can be downloaded below this text section.

Contact person

Markus Venohr

Programme Area Speaker
Research group
River System Modelling

Jan Köhler

Head of Department (a.i.)
Research group
Photosynthesis and Growth of Phytoplankton and Macrophytes

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