Water Framework Directive: Brief analysis to the complexity and urgency in implementing European Ecopolitics

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The paper aims to outline a framework analysis to be applied to the assessment of European ecopolitics implementation. We will explore the three phases of policy implementation, applying concepts such as “compliance” and “degree of fit”, in which ways the non-conformity can occur (incorrect or delayed transposition; no-application for lack of proper legal relationship with other Directives and/or cooperation between the responsible institutions; non-execution due to lack of monitoring or lack of sanctions), and what are the main reasons for this to happen (institutional and political, intentional and involuntary). Within this framework, we will focus on what is understood to be a delicate and crucial issue of policy implementation, namely the legal and cooperative relationship between the Directives and the institutions involved. In Water Framework Directive, no relationship is as prominent and evident as with the Natura 2000 Network, that leads to an indispensable cooperation between the national responsible authorities and the European community; furthermore, we should note that WFD and Natura 2000 are instruments that act directly in the mitigation and adaptation of Climate Change, so their relationship is an added asset to the legal value of environmental policies and, consequently, to a more comprehensive and complete implementation in a broadly way.

Keywords: Implementation, European Union, Ecopolitics,

Filipa Gomes | OBSERVARE, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal

Filipa Gomes has a degree in ‘International Relations’ at the Autonomous University of Lisbon (2009), and a master’s degree in ‘Territorial Management – Environment and Natural Resources’ at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, with the thesis “International Environmental Relations: the Conferences of Parties of the ‘Rio Conventions’ as practical examples of Environmental Multilateralism” (June 2012). In the same year, has begun a PhD in ‘Public Policy’ at ISCTE, having completed the teaching component (or Advanced Studies Certificate) in June of 2013, and initiated a research project on implementation of european policies in Portugal, with a special focus on environmental policies. At present, she is a PhD student in ‘International Relations: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics’, following the development of the thesis on the implementation of European (environmental) policies in Portugal.