Assessment of the Sava River Basin Management Plan

Assessment of the Sava River Basin Management Plan

By the end of 2021, EU Member States and associated countries to the Common Implementation Strategy need to submit their River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) required under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for the period 2022-2027 (third planning cycle). Before submission, draft plants need to be open for public consultation over a minimum period of six months. Since the adoption of the WFD in 2000 and as documented by the European Commission’s Implementation Reports, implementation has been lagging behind so the coming planning cycle is critical to the achievement of the objective of good water status across Europe by 2027.

The objective of this project was to scan the Sava RBMP draft and the Habitats Directive Article 17 reports and test them regarding the following questions:

  • How fit is this management plan regarding the relevant European directives (Habitats, Birds and Water Framework Directives)?
  • How fit is this management plan in relation to the new European Green Deal and EU Biodiversity strategy for 2030?
  • How well are the biodiversity and ecosystem conservation measures of this management plan aligned with the Danube River basin management plan?
  • How good does this management plan respect nature, biodiversity, and other natural values/resources?
  • How strict does this management plan limit the exploitation of Sava through harmful hydropower plants and other destructive infrastructure investments?
  • How is this management plan aligned with all relevant national laws on nature conservation, protected areas and watershed management?


Freshwater Management







geographic scope:

Sava River Basin, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Thomas Dworak