The results will be to help countries and organisations to implement programme of measures. These are aiming for a healthy Baltic Sea, with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status.

The short term objectives of this project

To establish a peer network of officials working with The EU Water Framework Directive (the WFD) at the operational level. The aim of the network is 1) to create a forum for exchange of experience in matters relating to the administrative work of the WFD implementation; and 2) to discuss, plan and jointly implement measures to achieve the WFD objectives.

The long term objectives

The long term project impact is the improved status of targeted water bodies and rivers with an outflow to the Baltic Sea – in response to the basic requirement by the WFD to achieve good ecological and chemical status. In addition, the project objectives are closely linked to the following key policy documents:
The proposed project will contribute to the key objective “save the sea” of the EUSBSR and the sub-objectives “Clear Water” and “Rich and healthy wildlife” as well as the Priority Areas: Nutri, Agri and Bio;
By targeting water bodies and rivers with an outflow to the Baltic Sea, the project will contribute to the overarching vision of BSAP “a healthy Baltic Sea, with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status ..,”.
The project links to the following BSAP’s main “segments”: Eutrophication, and Biodiversity.
The composition of the partnership includes partner organisations in Russia and aim at establish a partnership with Belarus, thus contributing to the objectives of the EU-Russian partnership for modernization and the Eastern Partnership aiming at harmonisation of national procedures to be in line with EU directives.

Specific Challenge

Implementation of measures to achieve good status of water bodies are lacking behind vis à vis regional commitments (EUSBSR, HELCOM’s BSAP) and legal obligations (EU WFD). The work of assessing the ecological and chemical status and pollution sources as well as the development of programmes of measures is complicated and often involves difficult compromises. National guidelines are helpful but limited and difficult to apply in many cases. Implementation of the programme of measures is conducted by many different players. With the current pace, the WFD’s targets will not be reached. The reasons why the physical measures are not implemented to a sufficient extent is not fully understood. Among others, the implementation rate is affected by financing constraints, existing legislation, ownership conditions and the limited administrative capacity of the authorities. Moreover, inadequate communication between authorities and various stakeholders limits the possibility to implement physical measures. To advance implementation efforts, more detailed knowledge is needed about success factors. One difficulty with the current approach, i.e working in national silos, is that there is very little information on the practical approaches applied in other EU countries including innovative solutions.

It is thus great need to establish a peer network of officials working with the WFD at the operational level. The aim of such network is twofold: Firstly, to create a forum for exchange of experience in matters relating to the administrative work of the WFD implementation; and secondly, to discuss, plan and jointly implement measures to achieve the WFD objectives.

Transnational added value

The international peer learning network will result in increased knowledge of lessons learnt of different approaches, management systems and applied research and innovative tools (e.g. stakeholder communication and engagement, public-private-partnership and cross-sectorial coordination) valuable for advancing implementation. Some countries are ahead of others which nurture collaborative learning and joint problem solving. Having knowledge of the international experience will strengthen the institutions’ ability to get acceptance for required measures. For the Baltic Sea countries, with their joint commitments, shared resource (the Baltic Sea) and geo-climate similarities, there are additional values from collaborative learning on fast track solutions in particular on promotional activities for non-judicial measures. The specific transnational added value at impact level is the increased population fish in the Baltic Sea region resulting in potential to strengthen both the fish and tourism industries.