European Union to publish special report on sustainable water use

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on sustainable water usage and agriculture policy in the

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Photo: Eric Barsness/USDA NRCS/Flickr

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on sustainable water usage and agriculture policy in the EU today.

Agriculture plays an important component in the economies of many of the EU’s largest countries, and accounts for 40% of the bloc’s water supply. Given that agriculture is one of the main sectors with common regulatory policy across the EU, through initiatives like the CAP and the WFD, and increasing willingness by member states to cooperate with each other and the Commission on environmental issues, policy driven by this report may drive some further European integration.

Expect the report to recommend regulatory policy mandating more efficient use of water in agriculture. Such measures would hamper agricultural production, but many countries with large agricultural sectors like France have shown willingness to supplement even regulations from the EU with further subsidies. More regulations and subsidies are only possible for some though, and many Central and Eastern European economies may have difficulty implementing new policy without more funding from the Commission. In the long term then, while new agricultural and water policy could drive European integration in the west and south, it may mean just the opposite farther east.

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