2020-01Diskussionspapier DOI: 10.18452/21269
Trapped between barriers OR Flowing despite barriers?
The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is said to be a directive of a new generation as it is very flexible to avoid institutional misfits during implementation. Nevertheless, 20 years after putting the WFD into force the ambitious aims, the good (ecological and chemical) status in all European Waters, are far from being reached by the member states. There may be several ecological reasons why a time horizon of 15 to 27 years is too tight to undo 500 years of anthropogenic influence. However, in some places implementation has not even started yet, has been delayed or the measures taken are insufficient to achieve WFD goals. Reasons for this may be found in national and local governance structures and processes. This comic aims to visualize barriers for WFD implementation at the local level in Germany. WFD implementers were asked how they are implementing WFD measures and which barriers they face or which conflicts they perceive. The German federal states are characterized by different constellations of decision-making centers in WFD-related water management: including water authorities, water management authorities, water course maintenance associations and enterprises, water and soil associations, nature conservation authorities, nature conservation associations, companies and other state and non-state actors. The states vary in their institutional settings, levels involved in decision-making and the kinds of ecological-administrative boundaries they face. Nevertheless, local WFD implementers share certain types of barriers, although details vary. These barrier types are motivation, financial and personnel resources, land resources and institutional interplay. The results reflect not so much the single case which was used to illustrate the barriers but rather the sum of all analyzed local actors implementing WFD measures. These face different barriers to varying extents. The states address some of these barriers through a variety of strategies. Data for the analysis was gathered in 66 semi-structured interviews with authorities from all levels and non-state actors in six federal states – Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony- Anhalt, Thuringia and North Rhine Westphalia – as well as through the analysis of policy documents and official websites.
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