The objective of the framework contract was to provide services to the Water Unit in DG Environment concerning the following:
- To provide independent, impartial, and punctual necessary work and advice on scientific, socio-economic, and technical issues related to the issues dealt with within the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Floods Directive.
- To provide technical assistance to the Commission in the integrated assessment of the implementation of the EU water legislation (WFD, priority substances Directive, Groundwater Directive, and Floods Directive) and 2nd RBMPs/1st FRMPs, looking at issues such as coordination performed by MS in the different steps in the WFD and the FD planning process and the implementation of other related environmental Directives (Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, Nitrates Directive, Birds and Habitats Directive, Bathing Water Directive, Drinking Water Directive…).
- To provide technical assistance to the Commission in in-depth focused assessments of the WFD/FD implementation in MS on selected issues linked to specifics needs, e.g. assessment of water pricing systems in MS for assessing fulfillment of EAC action plans, evaluation of the uptake of Natural Water Retention Measures in MS and how to better ensure mutual benefits of implementation and in the integration of water policy into other EU policies areas, including biodiversity, green infrastructure, Nature, soil, forests, Marine, REACH, INSPIRE, agriculture, energy, transport, industry, regional policy, and cohesion and trans-boundary and international cooperation.
- To provide technical assistance to assess information on possible infringement cases following the Commission’s initiative or a citizens’ complaint.
- To provide technical assistance for the evaluation of the WFD and the REFIT of the FD. Support for specific Impact Assessments and evaluations.
Fresh Thoughts supported the development of CIS Guidance number 35 on Exemptions under Art 4.7 WFD and is providing technical expertise to several pilot legal compliance procedures under the WFD.