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European Commission - Press release

Environment: Commission urges Belgium and Luxemburg to comply with EU water legislation

Brussels, 26 January 2012 – The European Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to Belgium and Luxemburg for their failure to transpose EU water legislation into national law. Neither Member State has notified the Commission about the transposition of Directive 2009/90/EC on technical specifications for chemical analysis and monitoring of water status, which should have been in place by 1 August 2011. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending reasoned opinions and asking Belgium and Luxemburg to comply within two months. If they fail to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice and ask for immediate financial penalties.

When Member States fail to transpose EU legislation into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may ask the Court for financial sanctions to be imposed at the first referral to Court, without having to return to the Court for a second ruling.


Directive 2009/90/EC supports the implementation of the Water Framework Directive by ensuring that Member States measure the concentrations of chemical pollutants in water, using methods that are sensitive enough to detect and quantify them at least down to the quality standards set for those substances. If the measurement methods used are not sufficiently sensitive, Member States could fail to detect the presence of pollutants at concentrations above the maximum authorised levels. Higher concentrations could be harmful to human health or to the environment.

Directive 2009/90/EC is sometimes referred to as the Quality Assurance or Quality Control Directive. It is needed to ensure that the water quality monitoring results from different Member States are comparable, and that the assessment of water status is based on properly quantified results.

Further information

For current statistics on infringements in general, see:

See also:


Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)

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