The Elbe and the EU-Water Framework Directive

By the year 2005 all European countries must report to the EU on the condition of their waters in accordance with the EU-Water Framework Directive. For this purpose all stretches of water are divided into categories. For each category there are special measures designed to improve the quality of the water and to promote environmental protection. ( All measures for the preservation of the good ecological condition of Europe’s waters must be completed by the year 2015. If these milestones are not reached, penalties and sanctions may be imposed. The EU calls for public participation in these measures.


The Elbe Swimming Day 2005 is an excellent opportunity to raise public awareness of the EU Water Framework Directive and to win support for the planned measures. Despite the dramatic improvement in the water quality of the Elbe there is still a lot to be done. It is the aim of the Elbe Swimming Day to inform the public of what has been achieved so far and to explain the importance of more efforts towards a cleaner river. The Elbe Swimming Day is to take place in the context of a celebration and as a symbol of reconciliation between the people and the Elbe.