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Document 52020SC0145

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Tenth report on the implementation status and programmes for implementation (as required by Article 17 of Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste water treatment)

SWD/2020/145 final

Brussels, 10.9.2020

SWD(2020) 145 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

Tenth report on the implementation status and programmes for implementation (as required by Article 17 of Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste water treatment)

{COM(2020) 492 final}


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.    Number of agglomerations in EU Member States, by size categories (generated waste water load).    

2.    Compliance rate and distance to target in 2016    

2.1.    Summary table per Member State in 2016, and change compared with 2014 status    

2.2.    Maps of compliance rate at regional level    

2.2.1.    Map showing the rate of compliance with Article 3 (collection and IAS)    

2.2.2.    Map showing the rate of compliance with Article 4 (secondary treatment)    

2.2.3.    Map showing the rate of compliance with Article 5 (more stringent treatment than secondary)    

2.3.    Distance to target in individual Member States    

2.3.1.    Distance to target for collection (Article 3)    

2.3.2.    Distance to target for secondary treatment (Article 4)    

2.3.3.    Distance to target for more stringent treatment (Article 5)    

2.4.    Rates of application of individual or other appropriate systems (IAS) in individual Member States    

2.4.1.    Classification by percentage of generated load connected to IAS    

2.4.2.    Classification of Member States by number of agglomerations which apply more than 10% of IAS    

2.5.    Compliance status of national capitals    

3. Infringement procedures    

3.1 Court rulings    

3.2. Open infringement cases    

4. Implementation of Article 17 in individual Member States    



1.Number of agglomerations in EU Member States, by size categories (generated waste water load).

Number of agglomerations with over 2,000 population equivalents (p.e.) per Member State and size category. The categories reflect the three main ranges of size defined in the Directive, each of which is subject to different legal obligations on treatment, depending on the nature of the area where waste water is discharged. The variation in distribution between countries reflects differences in their level of urbanisation and in the structure of urban areas.

Germany has most agglomerations (3,927). It also has the largest number of very large agglomerations (above 100,000 p.e.): 174.

There are four Member States (DE, FR, IT and ES) with over 2,000 agglomerations. The majority of EU countries (18) have fewer than 500 agglomerations.

2.Compliance rate and distance to target in 2016

2.1.Summary table per Member State in 2016, and change compared with 2014 status

COMPLIANCE RATE:

Five countries are fully or almost fully compliant with all the Directive’s requirements (AT, DE, LV, LT and NL). Other five countries reach a very high compliance level (EL, FI, SE and UK). Seven countries are placed in a relatively high level (BE, DK, EE, FR, LU, PL and SK). Four countries are in a lower level of compliance (CY, CZ, ES and PT). At the other end of the scale, seven (BG, HU, IE, IT, MT, RO and SI) comply to a limited or very limited extent.

Four countries (BE, BG, PL and RO) show positive trends (compliance rates increased above 1%) for all articles. The largest increases can be found for collection in BG, CY and RO, showing an increase of more than 10%; for secondary treatment in BG and SI, showing an increase of over 18%; and for more stringent treatment, with an increase of over 15% in BG, LU, PL, PT and SK. On average, the situation for EU-28 shows a compliance rate of 81% for collection and treatment. Taken in isolation, collection is doing best, with a compliance rate of 95%.

DISTANCE TO TARGET

Nine countries (AT, BE, DE, EE, FI, LV, LT, NL, SE) have already met very high targets in collection and treatment. However, a further eight (RO, MT, IE, SI, ES, CY, CZ, BG) still have a significant way to go, with distance to target values of over 15% or even 30% in collection and/or treatment. Malta has a very high value of distance to target for secondary treatment (95%). Excessive salt water in all treatment plants and farm manure discharges into collecting systems may explain the country’s poor bad performance. Other ten countries (DK, EL, FR, HU, IT, LU, PL, PT, SK and UK) have met high targets, but still have to make some effort at collection and/or treatment level.

2.2.Maps of compliance rate at regional level

The maps in this chapter show compliance rates as percentages, corresponding to collection, secondary treatment, and treatment that is more stringent than secondary treatment. They cover all EU countries at the level of NUTS 2 regions.

Legal compliance rates for collection and/or treatment reflect the waste water load of agglomerations > 2,000 p.e. found to be fully compliant with the requirements of collection (Article 3), secondary treatment (Article 4), or, where applicable, treatment more stringent than secondary (Article 5), compared to the total amount of waste water load that should meet such requirements, as per Article, expressed as a percentage.

Legal compliance rates can be calculated at agglomeration, regional, national, EU level, etc., depending on the type of data taken into consideration and compared.

Legal compliance with Articles 3, 4 or 5 does not reflect the fractions of load in agglomerations that are not fully compliant, but which are in line with the Directive’s requirements. For instance, an agglomeration that collects and adequately treats 80% of the waste water it generates is not considered compliant with Articles 3 and 4/5 of the Directive. This means it will not be included in the calculation of legal compliance rates at regional level, etc, even if the above-mentioned fraction of load is in line with the Directive’s requirements at collection and treatment level.

It should therefore be noted that ‘legal compliance’ does not reflect the efforts yet to be made by each region (in the case of the maps in this chapter) to implement the Directive’s requirements in full. The concept is thus far less stringent than ‘distance to target’.

2.2.1.Map showing the rate of compliance with Article 3 (collection and IAS)

Map showing compliance rate by NUTS 2 regions. All regions in BG, CY, HU, RO and SI, and some regions in ES, IT, PL and PT have low compliance rates for collection, some being in the 0-70% range.

2.2.2.Map showing the rate of compliance with Article 4 (secondary treatment)

Map showing the situation by NUTS 2 regions. All regions in BG, CY, HU, MT, RO and SI, and some regions in CZ, EL, ES, FR, IE, IT, PL, PT, SK and the UK, have compliance rates for secondary treatment of below 85%. More than 20 EU regions even fall below 70%.

2.2.3.Map showing the rate of compliance with Article 5 (more stringent treatment than secondary)

Map showing the situation by NUTS 2 regions. All regions of BG, CY, IE, MT, RO and SI, and some regions of BE, CZ, DK, EL, ES, FR, HU, IT, PL, PT, SE, SK and the UK, have a compliance rate of below 85% for more stringent treatment. More than 40 regions even fall below 70%.

2.3.Distance to target in individual Member States

The term ‘distance to target’, used for the first time in the Commission’s reports in the 2014 reporting year, means the effort still required to comply in full with the Directive’s requirements on collection and treatment.

‘Distance to target’ values do not take account of agglomerations subject to under non-expired deadlines which therefore have no compliance obligations in this report (i.e. agglomerations in Croatia, those that are subject to a final deadline in Romania, or those that discharge waste water into sensitive areas of late designation under Article 5, where applicable).

‘Distance to target-treatment’ takes account only of collected waste water that is not properly treated (meaning that its treatment is non-compliant and/or the treatment level is inadequate). It does not take account of waste water that is not collected, and therefore not treated.

2.3.1.Distance to target for collection (Article 3)

 

The distance to target for collection in Europe in terms of load is attributable mainly to six Member States which account for the highest absolute values: BG, CY, ES, HU, IT (between 174,000 p.e. and 565,000 p.e. each) and RO, with 4,377,000 p.e. It can be observed in this figure that the corresponding relative values are not so high in two of these countries (ES and IT), thus meaning that these countries have high amounts of p.e. In 20 Member States the distance to target is not beyond 0.5%. In five (BG, HU, SI, IT, EE) it is between 0.6 and 5.5%, while two (CY and RO) still have a distance to target of 17 and 26%, respectively.

2.3.2.Distance to target for secondary treatment (Article 4)

 

Fourteen Member States collectively account for most of the distance to target for secondary treatment in Europe in terms of load. Six countries (ES, FR, IE, IT, PT and RO) have values exceeding 1 million p.e. each, even though amongst them, only RO and IE also have high relative values (in the remaining four countries, the distance to target is not so relevant, in relative terms). Together, they account for over 32.5 million p.e. (or 88% of the entire distance to target for ‘secondary treatment’ in the EU). Another eight countries (BG 901,204 p.e., CY, EL, HU, MT 1 , PL, SE and UK) reach levels between 147,000 p.e. and 901,000 p.e. each. In 10 Member States, the distance to target is equal or close to 0%.

2.3.3.Distance to target for more stringent treatment (Article 5)

 

Sixteen Member States account for most of the distance to target for more stringent treatment in Europe in terms of load. Nine of these (BG, CZ, ES, FR, IE, IT, PL, RO and UK) are over 1 million p.e. Together they account for about 29.5 million p.e. (93% of the entire distance to target for ‘more stringent treatment’ in the EU). Only four of these countries (FR, IT, PL and UK) have rates of 10% or below, thus meaning that distance to target is not so relevant at relative level in each of the countries, respectively. Seven countries (DK, HU, MT, PT, SE, SI and SK) are between 111,000 p.e. and 519,000 p.e. each. Six countries (AT, CY, EE, DE, LU and NL) have zero or very close to 0 (EE) distance to target.

2.4.Rates of application of individual or other appropriate systems (IAS) in individual Member States

2.4.1.Classification by percentage of generated load connected to IAS

This figure shows how much IAS is used by depicting the percentage of generated load for each country reporting the use of IAS. Of the 19 EU countries reporting IAS use, three (SK, HU and EL) use it in more than 10% of the generated load.

2.4.2.Classification of Member States by number of agglomerations which apply more than 10% of IAS

This figure reflects the number of agglomerations reporting that more than 10% of their generated load is addressed through IAS. PL reported the highest number, with 575 agglomerations, while seven countries in total (PL, HU, IT, DE, SK, CZ and EL) reported over 200 agglomerations with a significant percentage of load addressed through IAS.

It should be noted that a high number of agglomerations applying IAS does not necessarily entail a high IAS rate at country level. It indicates that many agglomerations rely, in a relatively high individual rate, on the use of IAS instead of collecting the generated waste waters in their entirety.

2.5.Compliance status of national capitals

Member State

Member State

Capital city

Generated load [p.e.]

Legal compliance/distance to target > 0 (in percentage)

Collection

Secondary treatment

More stringent treatment

Collection and treatment

UK

United Kingdom

London

10,636,249

C

C

C

C

FR

France

Paris

9,545,414

C

C

C

C

EL

Greece

Athens

5,200,000

C

C

C

C

DE

Germany

Berlin

4,353,563

C

C

NR

C

ES

Spain

Madrid

4,018,202

C

C

C

C

AT

Austria

Vienna

4,000,000

C

C

C

C

IT

Italy

Rome

3,005,533

C

C

NR

C

SE

Sweden

Stockholm

2,788,000

C

C

C

C

HU

Hungary

Budapest

2,722,686

C

C

C

C

PL

Poland

Warsaw

2,491,821

C

C

C

C

BE

Belgium

Brussels

1,460,000

C

C

NR (C)

C

NL

Netherlands

Amsterdam

1,099,208

C

C

C

C

PT

Portugal

Lisbon

1,063,000

C

C

NR

C

FI

Finland

Helsinki

926,700

C

C

C

C

LT

Lithuania

Vilnius

850,890

C

C

C

C

LV

Latvia

Riga

673,670

C

C

C

C

SK

Slovakia

Bratislava

530,000

C

C

C (NC)

C (NC)

EE

Estonia

Tallinn

468,000

C

C

C

C

CY

Cyprus

Nicosia

235,000

C

C

NR

C

LU

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

231,359

C

C

C

C

HR

Croatia

Zagreb

957,301

PD

PD

PD

PD

IE

Ireland

Dublin

2,225,120

C

NC/100%

NC/100%

NC

RO

Romania

Bucharest

2,159,995

NC/15%

NC (PD)/100%

NC (PD)/100%

NC

BG

Bulgaria

Sofia

2,037,000

NC/1%

NC/1%

NC/1%

NC

DK

Denmark

Copenhagen

1,100,000

C

C

NC (C)/33%

NC (C)

CZ

Czech Republic

Prague

1,533,060

C

C

NC/100%

NC

MT

Malta

La Vallette

615,810

C

NC/94%

NR

NC

SI

Slovenia

Ljubljana

302,293

C

NC/2%

NC/100%

NC

Legend

C: compliant

NC: non-compliant

PD: pending deadline

NR: not relevant

This table shows all the capital cities in the EU (all ‘big cities’ 2 ), ordered by size but sorted into groups: compliant (on top); subject to pending deadlines (Zagreb, Croatia); and totally or partially non-compliant, at the end of the table. All but three capitals have maintained their reported compliance status. Of the three, two (Copenhagen and Bucharest) are less compliant than at the time of the previous report. Bucharest, whose deadlines have now expired, still discharges 52% of its waste water untreated, while the treatment of the remaining 48% falls short of required standards, especially as regards the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus. Copenhagen has reported that the Damhusåen treatment plant has failed to reach the required level of performance as regards phosphorus treatment. Dublin became non-compliant in 2012, and the downward trend continued in 2016. Bratislava became fully compliant during the reporting period, an improvement on its previous status, especially in terms of treatment. The previous results are given in brackets wherever there has been a change. Most capitals are fully compliant with the Directive’s requirements.

In addition to legal compliance (/DTT), the values of distance to target in collection and treatment (what efforts are still required to reach compliance) are shown.

For all the capital cities found to be compliant with the Directive’s various requirements (collection/secondary/more stringent treatment), the distance to target is equal to zero %. The values of distance to target in situations of non-compliance span a wide range. Some are very low (e.g. Sofia, for all dimensions; Ljubljana, for secondary treatment), but in most other cases distance to target is equal to 100%.

3. Infringement procedures

3.1 Court rulings

The table below lists Court rulings since 1 January 2017. 3

Member State

Case number

Date issued

Hyperlink to ruling

Information on fines and penalty payments, where relevant

United Kingdom

C-502/15

04-05-2017

Commission v United Kingdom

Greece

C-320/15

14-09-2017

Commission v Greece

Greece

C-328/16

22-02-2018

Article 260 Commission v Greece  

EUR 3 276 000 for each six-month period of delay and EUR 5 million lump sum

Italy

C-251/17

31-05-2018

Art. 260 Commission v Italy  

EUR 25 million lump sum and EUR 30,112,500 for every six months of delay

Spain

C-205/17

25-07-2018

Art. 260 Commission v Spain  

EUR 46,522,999 lump sum and EUR 191,217.20 EUR for every day of delay

Ireland

C-427/17

18-03-2019

Commission v Ireland  

Cyprus

C-248/19

5-3-2020

Commission v Cyprus  

Italy

C-668/19

Pending

Pending

Sweden

C-22/20

Pending

Art. 260 - Pending

3.2. Open infringement cases 4

There are currently 29 open infringement cases. Most of the non-compliant agglomerations identified in the implementation reports are covered by these cases.

The vast majority of infringement cases listed below are ‘horizontal’, meaning that they cover groups of agglomerations within a Member State that are found, on the same legal basis, to be in breach of the legislation, usually in the same reported year.

There are horizontal cases involving large agglomerations discharging waste water into ‘non-sensitive’ areas, or into sensitive areas; cases on small agglomerations; and ‘gap cases’, involving the compilation of agglomerations found to be non-compliant. ‘Gap cases’ may be initiated once all other types of cases have been brought at Member State level. They may involve non-compliant agglomerations with obsolescent facilities that were previously compliant, or those that were previously non-compliant but just not reported by a Member State in previous years.

All the deadlines laid down in the Directive have expired as regards the EU-14 Member States plus the UK. Most of the types of cases referred to above have thus already been launched, if needed. A few ‘gap cases’, based on 2016 results, have yet to be launched.

Some cases relating to the countries which joined the EU after 2004, corresponding to deadlines that expired in 2014 and 2015, have yet to be launched. In many of these cases, in particular, the Commission has also included an investigation of compliance by individual or other appropriate systems (IAS), where such systems are applied at relevant rates at the level of an agglomeration.

EU-14 Member States and United Kingdom

Case number

Member States that have joined the EU since 2004

Case number

Greece

1999/4336

Czechia

2016/2141

United Kingdom

2000/4225

Romania

2016/2142

Spain

2002/2123

Hungary

2016/2186

Portugal

2002/2128

Slovenia

2016/2188

Greece

2004/2030

Slovakia

2016/2191

Spain

2004/2031

Lithuania

2016/2193

Italy

2009/2034

Latvia

2017/2030

Portugal

2009/2309

Cyprus

2017/2046

Sweden

2009/2310

Bulgaria

2017/2082

Greece

2011/2027

Poland

2017/2183

Spain

2012/2100

Romania

2018/2109

United Kingdom

2013/2055

Ireland

2013/2056

Italy

2014/2059

Spain

2016/2134

Spain

2017/2100

France

2017/2125

Italy

2017/2181

4. Implementation of Article 17 in individual Member States

The tables below summarise information on investment programmes in 2016 as reported by all EU countries. The investment and work planned correspond to non-compliant situations. For those countries that are fully compliant, the table indicates ‘no data’. The national authorities collectively estimated the sum of all investment programmes across the EU in 2016 at nearly EUR 230 billion. This covers work on treatment plants, with a forecast investment cost of EUR 166 billion, and work on collecting systems and/or IAS, investment in which is forecast to cost EUR 63 billion.

As regards the expected yearly investment at national level in collection and treatment, nine countries report a static situation compared with previous reporting. Eight report an increase in investment, and three a decrease (IT, PT and SI).

The highest values of the ratio of the current investment in collection and treatment per inhabitant and year to the expected investment per inhabitant and year are found in Luxembourg (EUR 148/152) and Denmark (EUR 142/134). Both countries have very high compliance rates in these two areas, more stringent treatment being the exception.

The lowest values can be found in Spain (EUR -/14) and Portugal (EUR 4/2) per inhabitant and year. Both countries have medium-to-low compliance rates, especially as regards treatment.

The OECD study 5 estimates that Member States will need to spend an additional EUR 253 billion between 2020 and 2030 to reach and maintain full compliance with the UWWTD. Projections assume that all countries will meet compliance by 2030, and that they will make equal incremental progress each year towards reaching compliance, and adjust their expenditure accordingly. Total expenditure is thus calculated on the basis of both distance to compliance and change in population growth. The OECD estimates do not take account of possible delays in investment or investment backlogs or of the state of existing infrastructure, as there was no data available to assess these aspects. This may explain why country-specific assessments that take into account the state of the assets in question and the investment backlog may differ from OECD projections. The assessment, which builds on 2014 data, uses Eurostat and similar data sources.

(1)

 Malta shows a very high value in ‘distance to target’ for secondary treatment (95%). Excessive salt water in all treatment plants and farm manure discharges into collecting systems may explain the country’s poor performance.

(2)

Cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants, which may consist of one or more agglomerations.

(3)

Last updated on 24 March 2020. For a list of previous rulings, please refer to previous Commission implementation reports.

(4)

Last updated on 24 March 2020.

(5)

 OECD, Estimating investment needs and financing capacities for water-related investment in EU member countries: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-framework/economics/OECD_study_en.htm

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