Safe and clean drinking water: EU updates quality standards
The EU is ensuring that tap water across the EU is safe to drink. The Council yetserday adopted its position on the proposal to revise the drinking water directive. The proposed new rules update the quality standards drinking water must meet and introduce a cost-effective risk-based approach to monitoring water quality. They also contain new provisions on materials in contact with drinking water and on improving access to water. The revision is a direct result of the first-ever successful European citizens' initiative 'Right2Water'.
Ioan Deneș, Minister of Waters and Forests of Romania yesterday said:
I know that safe drinking water is an issue that is important for all of us, as the European citizens' initiative 'Right2Water' has shown. This is why I am very pleased that today we reached an agreement on the Council's position on the drinking water directive. The message is clear: wherever you are in Europe, you can drink the water without worrying about your health.
One of the main elements of the recast proposal is to update the water quality standards currently in force, which were determined over 20 years ago. The proposal also introduces a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water quality. This approach should in the long run decrease the costs of monitoring while at the same time guaranteeing the highest quality of drinking water.
In addition, the proposed revised directive introduces new obligations to improve access to water. Member states will also have to ensure that consumers can access information on the properties of their drinking water as well as other useful information. The Council is also proposing a new procedure to set hygienic requirements for materials in contact with water intended for human consumption. The aim is to improve the quality of such materials to ensure that human health is protected and no contamination takes place.
Background and next steps
The Commission adopted its recast proposal for the drinking water directive on 1 February 2018. The Environment Council of 25 June 2018 held a policy debate on the proposal. Substantive discussions continued at expert level during the Austrian and Romanian Presidencies.
The European Parliament proposed amendments to the Commission proposal at its plenary on 23 October 2018. Its position at first reading is foreseen for the second plenary in March. Inter-institutional negotiations will probably take place during the Finnish Presidency.
- General approach
- Commission proposal
- Annexes to the Commission proposal
- Policy debate in the Environment Council of 25 June 2018
Drinking tap water in Europe is perfectly safe, but the EU is working to make it even safer
+32 2 281 62 63
+32 470 88 42 96
Latest News from
Code of practice against disinformation24/04/2019 12:25:00
EC welcomes the commitment of online platforms ahead of the European elections.
Public consultation: appropriate age for introduction of complementary feeding of infants19/04/2019 09:25:00
EFSA is seeking feedback from stakeholders and other interested parties on its scientific opinion on the appropriate age for introduction of complementary feeding of infants.
Stronger EU borders with a new standing corps of 10,000 border guards18/04/2019 15:25:00
TheEuropean Parliament hasadopted the ECs proposal to reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard Agency with a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027.
European Parliament's vote on new rules to improve fairness & transparency of online platforms18/04/2019 13:37:00
The European Parliament has approved the new Regulation on platform-to-business trading practices that is aimed at establishing a fair, trusted and innovation-driven environment for businesses and traders when using online platforms.
WTO Boeing dispute: EU issues preliminary list of U.S. products considered for countermeasures18/04/2019 12:25:00
The EC has launched a public consultation on a preliminary list of products from the USA on which the EU may take countermeasures in the context of the ongoing Boeing dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Registered substances mapped for regulatory action18/04/2019 09:25:00
The first report of the Integrated Regulatory Strategy presents a mapping of the universe of registered substances that are on the EU market. This information helps authorities to identify, plan and monitor the progress on identifying and regulating substances of concern.
The United States is Europe's main soya beans supplier with imports up by 121%17/04/2019 16:25:00
New figures released by the EC, show that imports of U.S. soya beans by the EU increased by 121% over the current market year (July 2018 to mid-April 2019), compared to the same period in the previous year.
EC updates the EU Air Safety List to maintain highest level of protection for passengers17/04/2019 15:37:00
The EC has updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the EU.
EC launches debate on more efficient decision-making in EU social policy17/04/2019 13:25:00
In his 2018 State of the Union speech, President Juncker announced a comprehensive review of all passerelle clauses provided for by the EU Treaties. As a result, three Communications have already been adopted: on common foreign and security policy (September 2018), on taxation (January 2019) and on energy and climate (April 2019). The Communication on the passerelle clauses in social policy is the fourth one.